MORE than £450,000 was claimed by restaurants across West Worcestershire during the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, new figures show.

A total of 79,000 discounted meals were claimed for in Worcester throughout the month as part of the Government scheme which offered half-price food and drinks to diners.

The amount of meals means 102 bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in the region have claimed back a total of £451,000 in the scheme.

James Grant, manager of the Bluebell at Barnard’s Green, said: “It was very successful. We never expected anything like what we had in August.

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"We had two record weeks in August where we had more bookings than ever before, and it was nice to see so many people able to come out who hadn't been to dine out since before lockdown.

"We have had some really amazing feedback from guests with old and new faces throughout.

"If the scheme were to continue, we would definitely welcome it, it works great for everyone involved."

Eat Out to Help Out entitled diners to receive up to fifty per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks - up to a maximum of £10 per person - every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August.

The average discount to diners per meal across West Worcestershire works out at £5.70 per meal.

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West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said: “The Government moved swiftly to help the hospitality industry when lockdown was announced and many jobs were protected by the furlough scheme.

“As soon as we were able to go out again a further scheme was created to offer discounted meals and I know from local feedback, and official figures, that it was very successful.

“My constituents enjoyed nearly 80,000 meals at more than 100 restaurants and it clearly helped people get used to dining out again as we work to secure local jobs like those in hospitality that are often crucial sources of income for women and young people.”