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Marston's pub group which has The Honeystone in Hunstanton and The Running Horse in Fakenham, forced to axe 2,150 jobs

Pub and brewery group Marston's, which runs two pubs in West Norfolk, has said that it will be forced to cut up to 2,150 furloughed jobs following new restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The group, which operates The Honeystone in Hunstanton and The Running Horse in Fakenham, announced its move in its year end report out today, October 15. It says new measures such as the 10pm curfew and restrictions in Liverpool mean 2,150 pub-based roles are going to be impacted.

The report said: "Inevitably, and regrettably, recent restrictions will impact jobs. Since the start of the pandemic, our objectives have included protecting the health and livelihoods of our teams.

Glasses of beer.
Glasses of beer.

"Government support over the summer was vital, and around 10,000 colleagues have so far returned to work. However, because of the recent additional restrictions, we have reluctantly concluded that around 2,150 pub-based roles currently subject to furlough are going to be impacted.

"Furthermore, we have initiated a full review of overhead costs which will be concluded by the end of December. These decisions are difficult but are necessary due to the restrictions placed upon our business at this time."

The company said that since July 4 it had reopened 99 per cent of its pubs and "consumer confidence increased steadily throughout July, August and into September".

However, it said new restrictions such as the 10pm curfew, table-only service and the closure of pubs in some areas of Scotland had undermined consumer confidence.

Marstons said it has 21 pubs in Scotland, of which eight are currently closed. It also has 18 pubs in the "highest risk" Liverpool region, the majority of which can serve food so therefore can remain open.

Marstons boss Ralph Findlay said: "The additional restrictions which have been applied across the UK most recently present significant challenges to us and will make business more difficult for a period of time."

In the 13 weeks since reopening, Marstons said sales were 10 per cent below last year. July recorded the biggest fall, with sales down 26 per cent before turning positive again in August. However, in September, trade dropped by 12 per cent.

The hospitality sector has been one of the worst affected industries during the coronavirus pandemic.

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