The Eat Out to Help Out scheme goes live today and diners across Cumnock and the surrounding areas will be able to enjoy 50 per cent off their meals out at selected eateries.

The scheme is the brainchild of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and is designed to get people out and about in their local communities and most importantly for the Government, spending again.

Of the discount, up to £10 per person can be claimed for food and drinks (excluding alcohol), the deal applies on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at participating restaurants until August 31. 

We've taken a look at all the restaurants, pubs, and cafes in the area that are offering the discount, so that if you are that way inclined, you can take them up on it. The participating venues are as follows:

  • The Dumfries Arms Hotel - Cumnock
  • The Coffee Mill - Cumnock
  • Masala Grill - Cumnock
  • The Coffee Pot - Cumnock
  • The Royal Hotel - Cumnock
  • The Grub Hub - Cumnock
  • The Thistle Inn - Cumnock
  • Da Vinci's Cafe - Knockroon
  • Cumnock Factory Outlet - Netherthird
  • Lochside House Hotel - New Cumnock
  • Boswells Coach House - Ochiltree
  • The Jaggy Nettle - Sorn 
  • The Sorn Inn - Sorn
  • The Fairburn Hotel - Mauchline
  • The Failford Inn - Failford
  • Gemmel's Garden Centre -Stair
  • Dunbar's Diner - Muirkirk
  • The Black Bull - Tarbolton
  • Burnside Garage and Tea Room - Sanquhar
  • A' The Airts - Sanquhar (opens August 11)

On the scheme, Alan Brown the SNP MP for Kilmarnock and Loudon said:  “This is a welcome step from the UK Government and I fully support this initiative although it would better if it covered weekends as well.

“It is imperative we support the hospitality industry and this scheme will certainly assist with getting the industry back up and running.  

“It has been a difficult time for the entire country, that should go without saying, but the hospitality industry has severely struggled not being able to operate and trade during this time. The last thing any of us want to see is businesses closing its doors due to this pandemic and bars and restaurants are no different.  

“My staff delivered letters to around 40 bars and restaurants across Kilmarnock and Loudoun last week to give details of the scheme and how to register for it.  

“Prior to this announcement, the UK Government cut VAT from 20 percent to five percent in the hospitality trade excluding sales of alcohol. This lasts from 15th July until 12th January 2021.  

“It is a welcome step in the right direction, although I have campaigned for a zero rating and will lobby the Chancellor to extend this beyond January 2021. The last thing we need is prices going back up post-Christmas.  

“I hope to see as many bars and restaurants utilise this scheme as possible in order to get business up and running again.”