A SCHEME designed to encourage people to eat out and boost hard-hit hospitality businesses went down a treat in Keighley, new figures show.

As part of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative, families could buy meals for up to half price Mondays to Wednesdays at participating outlets last August.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and other food venues took part.

Under the scheme, the businesses could then reclaim the money.

In the Keighley parliamentary constituency – which includes Ilkley – a total of £1.4 million was claimed by 123 restaurants, for 236,000 meals.

Keighley MP Robbie Moore welcomed the figures.

He said: “It is reassuring to see that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme provided so much benefit for restaurants, bars and pubs up and down the Keighley and Ilkley constituency.

“Locally this sector has been one of the hardest hit since the outbreak of the pandemic – with restaurants, bars and pubs being closed for much of 2020 and for the first part of 2021.

“The scheme was needed at the time to help those affected to recuperate losses incurred since the outbreak of the pandemic.”

Across the whole of the Bradford district, 456 restaurants took part in the venture – claiming for a total of 1,085,000 meals and an accumulated discount of £6,716,000.

The average discount per meal was £6.19 – 43p above the national figure – and the average amount claimed per restaurant was £14,700.