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West Norfolk pubs The King's Arms, Rose & Crown and Swan Inn are among those to benefit from grants to be more Covid-secure

West Norfolk businesses who successfully applied for grants have been able to make adaptations to their premises to be Covid-secure through the winter months.

Tourism, leisure, cultural and hospitality businesses were encouraged in September to apply for grants to help them fund and put in place measures to trade safely and extend their normal operating season.

There were two schemes available in West Norfolk, the Tourism Adaptation Business Fund and the Autumn and Winter Adaptation Business Fund. Each had a £45,000 funding pot and eligible businesses could apply for a maximum of £3,000 from each fund.

Ian Skinner of the King's Arms at Shouldham (43674064)
Ian Skinner of the King's Arms at Shouldham (43674064)

Ian Skinner, landlord at the King’s Arms Shouldham was able to claim for both grants and said: “This year has been very challenging, constantly adapting to new rules and regulations as well as dealing with being in and out of lockdowns.

“The Business Adaptation Fund we received helped us to expand our online services, enabling us to do takeaways and deliveries. We were able to purchase extra garden benches, hand sanitiser, social distancing signage and to pay for three months rental of a GPRS terminal which allowed us to serve people outdoors.

“The Autumn and Winter Adaptation fund was particularly helpful with adapting outside areas during the winter months. We’ve laid an extra path which has helped with one-way traffic, outside electrics which has lit our garden pergola and car park. The whole thing has helped us to be a safer and more attractive pub.”

“Both of these funds have enabled the business, and 18th century building, to adapt to the new Covid-secure guidelines.”

Anthony Goodrich, owner of the Rose & Crown at Snettisham, said: “One of the uses of the grant for us was creating a new welcoming environment as you enter the premises. You arrive through a tent where you can buy some take away sweet and savoury items from our pastry chef.”

Steven Bird, landlord of the Swan Inn at South Wootton said: “We’ve been very grateful for the borough council’s Business Adaptation Fund which has helped put things in place to make you safe and secure including signage, protective PPE, sanitiser and a one-way system.

“The Autumn and Winter Adaptation fund helped purchase an outside marquee for our guests to use.”

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: "We know that many leisure and tourism related businesses were hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown, and have had to put in lots of additional measures to make it safe for their customers.

"This scheme, which forms part of a Norfolk Strategic Fund £2.25m Norfolk-wide package of measures to support the visitor economy, will really help those smaller businesses who have lost income and had to invest in measures to safeguard their clients. I urge all residents who can to continue to support our local businesses."

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