Months of craving your favourite burger has led up to this moment. The endless hours, days and weeks of dreaming of that special sundae, perfect pie or fabulous falafel are now worth it – because by giving into temptation while remaining safe and socially-distanced, your meals out can help get the borough back its on feet.

With Copeland Borough Council’s brand new scheme, Shop Local: Keep it in Copeland, everyone throughout the community is being encouraged to follow their rumbling stomachs and visit their favourite haunts, as well as their unexplored eateries, to help get struggling businesses on the road to recovery following the effects of lockdown.

And many have been blown away by the support, with some businesses finding their custom has expanded thanks to the scheme.

“We’re primarily a B&B, so we don’t usually have people coming in for meals on a Tuesday afternoon or evening,” John Fernley, owner of Millom’s Cambridge House Hotel, said. “The scheme is absolutely brilliant at helping us to get people coming in for food, and it’s really nice to see people coming and supporting us in this way.”

The government-led scheme sees handfuls of restaurants, pubs, cafes and more offering discounts on meals from Monday-Wednesday each week throughout August, and Copeland council has high hopes their campaign, combined with the proven-successful government’s, will get our business owners grinning from ear-to-ear once again.

Mr Fernley continued: “It’s lovely to see so many people getting on-board, because we’ve been here 16 years and we’re a bit out of town, so business has always been good, but never as busy as those in the town centre.

“Having so many people come in to eat with us is just really nice.”

He added, encouraging all to continue being great cheerleaders for the town, and all of Copeland: “Everyone just needs to support smaller, local businesses.

“There are a lot of great businesses in the area, and they need more support than ever right now.”

And up in Gosforth, others are sharing the sentiments, with the manager of Gosforth Hall Inn saying: “It’s a great scheme, and we’re really glad that it’s there because everyone seems to be doing phenomenally well at the moment, especially because of the tourists coming up during the summer.

“It’s nice to see so many people booking in, and we had locals support us as soon as we were able to open which was brilliant.”

They continued: “It’s just about continuing with the support now even when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has ended.

“It can be daunting to go out to pubs and restaurants at the moment, but come out for a quiet drink [at your local pub] even just once every other week during the winter months to keep us all going – it’s the ongoing support that’s needed, and we all really appreciate it.”

As Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie says, let’s Shop Local and Keep it in Copeland – and get our businesses booming.