Tier three 'a pubs' lifeline' but will cost other Doncaster firms thousands

Town centre pub bosses believe Doncaster being put into tier three lockdown could offer their businesses a lifeline.

By David Kessen
Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 12:55 pm

But another well known Doncaster firm today revealed they would lose thousands from the new status that comes into force from 12.01am on Saturday morning.

The landlords of two well known town centre pubs agreed being moved from tier two to tier three would actually help them survive – after having seen revenues hit by the 10pm curfew and the tier two rules which meant different households could not meet indoors.

Read More

Read More
Read more: Doncaster and South Yorkshire placed in Tier 3 in battle to reduce sp...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Landlord at The Plough in Doncaster Nick Griffin pictured outside his pub

Now they believe the financial assistance that will come from tier three will keep their heads above water.

Martin Blagden, who runs Biscuit Billy’s on Silver Street only recently re-opened after remodelling the inside of his pub. He feared the combination of new restrictions and the end of the furlough scheme could force him to close.

He said: “I feel guilty to say it, but I’m pleased about the change to tier three for my business, but realise it is bad news for people who want to go out for a drink.

"But as a wet-led pub, I will now get a bit of help from the local authority and staff get a bit of help with their wages. I was going to have to lay people off – this at least has saved those jobs.

Biscuit Billy's owner Martin Blagden, pictured. Picture: NDFP-29-09-20-BiscuitBillys 5-NMSY

"The last few weeks have been really poor for trade in tier two and I was looking at having to close. This throws a lifeline and gives us breathing space. It is just about surviving at the moment. A lot of places that are wet-led will stay open because of this.”

On West Laith Gate, Nick Griffin runs the Little Plough.

He agrees.

Under the previous system he felt he did not know whether he was coming or going with changing rules.

"It’s good news for the business that there is money to help businesses that have to close,” he said. “It gives us help to survive.

“We know where we stand now. Businesses have to close but will get some support, and there is support for staff, who will get two thirds of their wages.

"We had actually seen trade picking up after dipping before this.

"People seem to be saying it will be at least 28 days. Everyone now needs to work together and adhere to the rules, wearing masks and washing their hands and and social distancing, so we can get out of this."

Others are less happy

Bosses at the Doncaster soft play centre Astrabound, off Wheatley Hall Road, fear the change will cost them thousands of pounds. They are being forced to close just before the October half term, traditionally one of the busiest times of the year.

Director Jeff Ainsley said although Astrabound has to close, the firm’s trampoline park, Go Bounce, is expected to be allowed to stay open as it is treated as a leisure centre.

He said: “It is what it is. We’ve got to abide by the rules and there’s not a great deal we can do about it.

"To lose half term is a body blow. But we get it, we’ll just have to tighten our belts. Not all businesses will come out of this.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.