THE OWNER of Hatton Estate has hailed chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest business support measures as a big step forward in the fight against ‘widespread carnage of the hospitality sector.’
Johnnie Arkwright, who runs Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World, has welcomed the tax cut and meal voucher scheme as a saviour for many pubs, restaurants and cafes which continue to see reduced numbers of customers.
Johnnie said: “The government do appear to realise that with a population that has become used to dining at home and is nervous of confined spaces when going out coupled with the reduction of capacity levels because of the need to socially distance, the avoidance of widespread carnage in a hospitality sector that provides three million jobs is a big challenge.”
The popular Hatton Arms country pub was forced to close its doors in March, just one month after a major refurbishment, but is now welcoming customers back.
Johnnie said: “The countryside has to be the answer for leading us out of lockdown. At Hatton Arms, Hatton Adventure World and Hatton Shopping Village we are lucky enough to have loads of fresh air and bags of space. And that’s what all of us cooped up at home for months are looking for.
“At Hatton Arms we have a large outside terrace and massive gardens overlooking Hatton Locks. Both, unsurprisingly, are proving really popular with their iconic views down the famous Hatton Locks on the Grand Union Canal.
“The government’s new voucher scheme is a really good initiative that Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World will certainly be signing up to, including the new cafe, Alfie’s, in the shopping village courtyard.
“And the reduction in VAT will help operators like us contend with the extra costs of introducing measures in line with government guidelines to maximise the safety of their guests and staff which is of course our top priority.”
The Victorian farm buildings at Hatton Shopping Village are home to 20 independent shops, including a garden centre and farm shop, all looking to get back to business.
Johnnie said: “We’re all feeling for the small independent shops that had to close in March and, on re-opening recently, remain fearful for their livelihoods.
“But the pandemic has revived a real sense of community, that desire to help those who have been hit the hardest.
“And we can help by giving these small businesses our custom.
“What can be safer than all that fresh air and space to socially distance in the rolling Warwickshire countryside.”