Civic leaders in Leeds have joined forces with the local hospitality sector to call on the government to urgently review restrictions, in particular those requiring venues to close their doors at 10pm and to consider sector specific support.

In a joint letter issued to the Prime Minister today, Councillor Judith Blake, leader Leeds City Council and chief executive Tom Riordan have united with bars and restaurants from across Leeds to highlight the severe impact the curfew is having on the city’s economy.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We have been working closely with local businesses in our hospitality sector throughout the pandemic, supporting them however we can to continue to operate viable businesses. The tenacity and innovation they have shown during these incredibly difficult months has been inspiring.

“Hospitality is a cornerstone of our city’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs but it’s no secret that in spite of all our efforts, the sector has sadly been one of those hit hardest by efforts to contain the spread of the virus in our communities.

“The current curfew is making this fight for survival an even harder one to win and in some cases it is sadly proving impossible, with many businesses and jobs across our city now in serious jeopardy.

“Along with our partners in the sector, it is our view that the current economic measures are in need of urgent review to give these struggling businesses a chance to survive, for jobs to be saved, and for an essential part of the city’s identity to be preserved. Hospitality will play a key role on the road to recovery and we hope the government acknowledges its importance to the future of our economy and public finances by changing these restrictions.”