Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday that the government is to cut VAT on hospitality as part of a £30bn plan to prevent mass unemployment as the economy is hit by coronavirus.

The Government will also pay firms a £1,000 bonus for every staff member kept on for three months when the furlough scheme ends in October.

Furthermore, and this will be the headline announcement for those not in the hospitality trade, the Government is now offering up to 50 per cent off food bills for people dining out in August, between Monday and Wednesday.

A large portion of Cumbria's economy relies on tourism and hospitality, so these measures will surely be welcomed by restaurateurs and punters alike.

Devris Ozmus, owner of Kapadokya in Barrow, described the announcement as a ‘lifeline’, while Lancaster Brewery owner Phil Simpson, who owns the Duke of Edinburgh in Barrow and The Mill in Ulverston, also welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement.

There is some concern, however, that much of the funding will go towards lining the already deep pockets of dining giants such as Wetherspoons or Nando's, but that is up to individual customers to decide.

At The Mail, we are always backing our local businesses and we would encourage everyone to visit our local, independently owned restaurants.