FEARS have been raised over the future of a number of pubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pub-owners and landlords have spoken out about the uncertainty surrounding the pub industry due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Landlords of The Newton Arms in Dalton, Paul and Sue Kell, announced they were leaving the pub this week after admitting the business was ‘no longer viable’.

However, after a crunch meeting with the pub bosses, the couple made a shock u-turn announcement that they would be staying for the foreseeable future.

It read: "We're delighted to announce that we've managed to strike a (more than) satisfactory deal with our landlord and will be staying at the Newton Arms for the foreseeable future."

The uncertain future of the Dalton pub follows a string of other establishments forced to close their doors due to the impact of Covid-19 including the Golden Ball in Dalton and The Rose and Crown Inn in Cark.

Laura Harrison, 31, and Garey Simpkin, 40, announced earlier this month that they will be pulling their last pints at the Robinson's-owned Rose and Crown Inn this December after two years of running the business.

The pair attributed a number of factors to their departure including the declining pub industry and the coronavirus pandemic.

Miss Harrison said: "Coronavirus has had a massive impact. It's hard enough without Covid-19 going on. At the moment we can only fit 35 people in the pub because of social distancing between the tables when normally we can fit in 50. It's a really hard time to be in the pub industry and a lot of them aren't going to survive."

Dave Stubbins, branch chairman of Furness Camra, said the pub industry is 'struggling' but remains positive about its future.

He said: "The industry is struggling as are so many others but safety is paramount. It is very sad but we may lose some pubs on the way. I think we have some fantastic pubs in our area which are so well run and are unfortunately facing massive challenges, one of which is capacity.

"Unfortunately we're in a position where we need to put safety first.I have enormous sympathy for the pubs. But you've got to think how easily we could go into a secondary lockdown and the situation could be even worse for pubs unless we are sensible and deal with this properly.

"We are massively supportive of our pub industry and we have so many great pubs in South Lakeland which, even after the pandemic, will hopefully continue to serve our community."