AN MP is urging East Lancashire people to take advantage of the government’s discount meals scheme to help local food and drink businesses to recover from coronavirus restrictions.

Ribble Valley Tory and House of Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans said the Eat Out To Help Out scheme which runs throughout August could be vital to businesses' future survival.

It offers sit-down diners a 50 per cent discount on food and non-alcoholic drinks up to £10 per person, per meal.

The scheme runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from August 3 until August 31.

According to a government online tool there are 39 participating venues within five miles of Clitheroe town centre and 35 within five miles of Longridge town centre.

Mr Evans said: “The data that banks and surveys have been releasing show that since lockdown eased, while most areas of spending in the economy have rebounded, spending in restaurants, cafés and pubs remains subdued.

“The hospitality industry is a big part of the local economy, and a lot of jobs are dependent upon it. Venues have invested heavily in ensuring that they are Covid-19 secure."