WIRRAL pubs that mainly serve alcohol rather than food are eligible for £1,000 grants to support them over Christmas.

The payment, announced this week, will be on top on the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses.

This will cover those forced to reduce operations as a result of the latest regional measures put in place to contain transmission of the virus.

The Government will transfer the money for pubs in Wirral to the council, who will be responsible for administering the payments.

The Chair of Wirral’s Regulatory Committee, which deals with licensing issues, Heswall Conservative councillor Andrew Hodson said: "This latest grant will be welcomed by many of our traditional pubs that have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.

"Many pubs have already been helped with the suspension of Business Rates, the furlough scheme and the Business Grants issued in the summer.

"So far, Wirral Council has received almost £170 million extra from the Government to support our borough.

"However, we know that some, especially the smaller, traditional pubs that rely on alcohol and not food sales, are hit hard by the continued restrictions.

"While the grant won’t make up for all the trade they will lose over Christmas, I hope this new £1000 grant will help and I've asked council officers to get the scheme up and running as quickly as possible."

Eligible pubs in Wirral will be able apply through the Council’s website and the payment will be made once per business for the month of December only.