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Hospitality restrictions causing “cull on business”

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By Donald Turvill and Euan Maxwell
Hospitality restrictions causing

HOTELS and pubs in the region continue to face huge losses to custom and income as a result of Coronavirus restrictions.

The new rules, in place until the end of next weekend, stipulate that alcoholic drinks can only be consumed outdoors, with no customers inside past 6 pm.

Abi Ritchie, owner of the Station Inn, Kirkpatrick Fleming, said the loss of evening service, the hotel’s “main money provider,” has resulted in “a cull on the business this week.”

She added that since restrictions came into place a week ago, she had seen “maybe two” people opt for an outside drink.

John, who runs the Eskdale Hotel in Langholm, said that following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement, around 27 room cancellations were made.

“The measures have wiped out most of the business. We have an outside beer garden, but who wants to sit outside when it’s two degrees,” he said.

He has not yet furloughed his staff, but added he may have to if restrictions continue as the hotel is “struggling at the moment.”

“We’ve just not got enough hours for all the team, but we’ve got a very loyal team,” John said.

At the Sure Hotel, Lockerbie, owner Glen Wright stressed that punters don’t want to sit outside when it’s poor weather so they have can have a drink and a meal.

He added: “We’ve seen a hell of a lot less people. We’re now seeing about 65 per cent of the business we were seeing before. We had quite a number of rooms cancel when they realised that they were coming away for a leisure weekend unable to have any drinks.

“We’ve all spoken collectively and we think that they should either open us or close us, not this this halfway house. After the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which gave all these businesses a boost, we’ve now gone into reversal. This week all the staff have been furloughed again because there’s no hours to give them.”

Meanwhile, Moffat landlady Janie Seaton believes the ruling is “quite bizarre” as she believes the hospitality sector is safer than others that remain open.

The Black Bull owner said: “Our establishment is safe so I don’t really understand why our industry is being targeted. We’re lucky we have had good custom at the weekend in our beer garden and no booking cancellations.

“If the rules are extended to four weeks then it could be devastating for the industry. I’ll never shut down but I’d have to go to plan b.”

Flood scheme model 'enhanced'

Flood scheme model 'enhanced'

A 3D model of what Langholm’s proposed flood defences would look like is being enhanced to give residents a better understanding of the scheme.


19th Oct

Tricia inspired by home

By Morven Beattie | DNG24

Tricia inspired by home

TRICIA Barna started Falu Studios in 2018 with her partner Andy Philpott. With a background of work in graphic design, after 27 years of living and working in Hungary, she returned to Scotland, having grown up in the local area. Here, the pair took the opportunity to start their own business, which incorporates graphic and web design, framing and original artwork.  Her work has been sold at the Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright, and is available to see both at their home studio outside Dumfries and online, through the rescheduled online Spring Fling which they participated in over the last week. She explained more to Morven Beattie:

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