Covid-19: Hospitality Industry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:07 pm on 24th March 2021.

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Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe 5:07 pm, 24th March 2021

I thank my hon. Friend Selaine Saxby for securing this debate.

There is no doubt that it is thanks to the Government’s support schemes that we have been able to prevent many local hospitality businesses from being lost. Having worked with hundreds of them, I know that local businesses always have their employees and our community at heart. In turn, we in North Lincs value them and their ties with the community, with places like Mulligans Sports Bar sponsoring local darts, snooker and pool teams. Many of my local hospitality businesses did not let a pandemic stand in the way of their helping people. I could list many examples our area can be proud of. For example, the hospital’s sports and social club opened up space for NHS staff to use for meetings. The Shires and many, many other pubs have provided hot food options for those at home. Pubs such as the Queen’s Head in Kirton have provided lunch for volunteers and health workers in our vaccination centre.

Many local hotels provided accommodation to NHS workers and worked with North Lincolnshire Council to provide a place to stay for those who faced homelessness. Many businesses were able to innovate. The Black Door in Scunthorpe, for example, has worked to share its door-to-door cocktails idea with businesses across the country. Many venues started offering takeaway and delivery options. Some even generously offered their space for vaccinations to take place. Venues such as the Old School in Messingham kept us really entertained with their uplifting social media posts. After a long, imposed state of slumber, hospitality businesses in Scunthorpe are raring to open. From Hibaldstow to Ashby, from Bottesford to Howsham, local business owners are preparing their teams and their premises to go back to work—but they still need help.

Moving forward, I urge the Government to continue to carefully review existing restrictions, ending them as soon as we can. I once again urge Ministers to provide further guidelines for the weddings industry, to allow socially distanced on-site look-arounds at places such as beautiful Cleatham Hall in my constituency, where there is space to operate safely. I ask Ministers to review support for kennels and catteries; to open up the kickstart scheme for long-standing clubs; and to consider suggestions for draught-beer duty relief. I welcome the expansion of the self-employment income support scheme eligibility criteria, but I hope that Ministers can work with colleagues in the Treasury to bring forward the date on which the fourth grants can be awarded, as many self-employed in my area need this support now.

Thanks to the incredible support package and some real northern grit, many hospitality businesses in my area are still with us. They are now pumping up the tyres at the speedway, stocking up the fridges in our restaurants, and polishing their pint glasses in our pubs. We must continue to support them so that on this beautiful spring day, we really can look forward to brighter months ahead, and a chance to build back these valued businesses in Scunthorpe.