With news of the third national lockdown announced on Monday night, pubs across Lancashire were forced to completely close their doors once again, with a ban on takeaway alcohol becoming the final nail in the coffin for many struggling establishments.

Wet pubs in Blackburn with Darwen, the Ribble Valley, Hyndburn, Burnley, Rossendale and Pendle will be shut, and those who serve food will be allowed to open but to provide meals only, via delivery or takeaway.

Chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Emma McClarkin, said: “A third lockdown is yet another blow to our sector. Particularly after it has faced an abysmally quiet Christmas and New Year’s, which saw many pubs remain closed over what is meant to be their busiest time.

“The announcement adds to the woes of pubs as it shows they are a long way from reopening properly. The road to recovery for the pub sector just got longer."

Lancashire Telegraph: Clitheroe Brown Cow pub landlady Laura Smithies is wanting more police presense in the town following recent vandalism..Clitheroe Brown Cow pub landlady Laura Smithies is wanting more police presense in the town following recent vandalism..

Landlady of the Brown Cow in Clitheroe, Laura Smithies, says groups of kids hanging round the towns, especially up at Clitheroe Castle, are only adding to the spread of the virus, and she is angry with the Government for acting too late, saying the chances of her pub surviving past this next lockdown are slim to none.

She said: "I know we have to do what we have to do but I believe pubs were unfairly targeted and blamed, even though I believe we were safer than any supermarket.

"We spent time and money making our pubs safe, using track and trace, letting in small bubbles and making customers wear masks when not seated.

"We were happy to keep everybody safe but because the Government didn't get on with a lockdown and had such silly Tiers the obvious has happened.

"You could go for a meal in Skipton 15 minutes away, and you could go to the gym in Liverpool, and because of weak leadership and the fear of upsetting people the spread has increased, and the chances of our pub surviving this again is very doubtful.

"More should have been done much sooner. I fear it's too late for the hospitality sector and because of all the small useless measures, here we are again."

Lancashire Telegraph: SUCCESS: The Clifton ArmsSUCCESS: The Clifton Arms

Carole Davis who runs the Clifton Arms pub in Blackburn said the new lockdown has changed nothing for them.

She said: "We've been like this since October 17. It's the not knowing a plan of re-opening with nothing that states what, when or how.

"The fact that no alcohol is to be served from restaurants and pubs to stop crowding and drinking around the premises is bewildering when you can go to the supermarket, purchase alcohol quite easily, and drink in other places.

"The community have been hit hard once again and we will carry on and try to support our Team Clifton where we can, however, the industry needs clarity and support as many are failing and will not survive without it."

Despite the obvious job losses and financial worries caused by the lockdown, pubs across East Lancashire aren't just places to meet friends and get drunk, they're a vital part of some older customers' daily lives, relied upon for social interaction, and without them, many are facing isolation, going days without seeing or speaking to a single person.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Arden Inn in AccringtonThe Arden Inn in Accrington

To try and help, Mark Jackson, who runs the Arden Inn in Accrington has been hosting Zoom sessions at weekends with some of his regular customers, in a bid to check that they are ok.

The landlord said for those who don't have access to Zoom, he's been making regular calls and texts to ensure they are coping.

Mr Jackson commented: "Pubs are some of the safest places you can go, and landlords like myself have spent a fortune on PPE, perspex screens, hand sanitisers, deep cleaning the pub all the time.

"We've also drastically reduced customer numbers and yet we continue to be forced closed.

"Our local council is making applying for grants impossible as all the local councils just seem to be giving grants to businesses.

"If we can’t access the grants that we are entitled to from the Government many pubs and clubs will never reopen."

Lancashire Telegraph: The Havelock Inn, Blackburn The Havelock Inn, Blackburn

Following Monday's announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that pubs were to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 per property to help them through the latest lockdown.

However, landlord at the Havelock Inn in Blackburn, Darren Heggie, said the grants were not enough.

He said: "After being put into Tier 3, it was inevitable that we were not going to reopen until at least March.

"The grants that were on offer did not scratch the surface and this lockdown had been worse than the first one with less money.

"The Chancellor has announced some extra funding today, but apart from a few weeks, we have basically been in full lock down since March last year.

"As for the extra £30million that was given to Lancashire County Council for hospitality sector and other businesses, we have been told that we do not qualify for it as we live in Blackburn.

"The £1,000 payment in December was a farce as we rely on December to get us through to Easter."

Lancashire Telegraph: The Havelock Inn, Blackburn The Havelock Inn, Blackburn

Ms McClarkin from the BBPA said the Government needed to deliver the grants immediately or else it would be too late for some establishments.

She added: "We know that pubs will eventually be a part of the way out of this crisis and back to normality. Some are even offering themselves up as vaccine hubs, which drives home the fact losing them would do untold harm to our communities.”

“Given that the future of so many pubs hang by a thread, if the grants take weeks or months to get to the pubs they are meant for, it will be too late.

"We also need confirmation from Government that the new state aid rules will allow businesses access to these grants.

"It must provide the same levels of support to brewers, who have suffered months of closure but are not eligible for the support.

“And it must extend stimulus support such as the business rates holiday and VAT cut, along with further initiatives including a beer duty cut.

"The sooner we hear of the long term support for the sector the better.”