This weekend, businesses across the county are celebrating the hard work of companies in the hospitality industry.

Today is National Hospitality Day, giving businesses a chance to celebrate after what has been a trying time for them.

It also shines light on the hard work that owners and workers do in this sector which contributes a great deal to the UK economy.

A spokesperson from Cumbria Tourism said: “The tourism and hospitality industry is a vital part of Cumbria’s economy, employing a diverse range of people across the length and breadth of the county.

“The past few months have shown just how resilient and innovative our businesses can be.

“It’s important to continue flying the flag for these hardworking businesses — which stand at the centre of our local communities — to help them bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic as we look towards 2022 and beyond.”

It is an industry that all of us within the community go to for leisure and enjoyment.

They offer an essential service to customers providing high-quality food and services.

It seems only right that the workers of this industry are commended for their dedication to serving the public.

Many businesses in the sector have had to close whilst others have managed to withstand the strain and persevere their way through their biggest challenge yet.

James McCall, Manager of Penny Blue Restaurant and Bar in Warwick Road in Carlisle, said: “Hospitality has been affected really badly with restrictions coming in.

“With the industry being so badly effected we’re struggling to get staff because no one wants to work in it.

“We’re starting to get back to normal, but people are still unsure of whether or not to go to restaurants.

“It’s one of the highest-grossing industries in the country that employs thousands of people.

“A lot of people rely on the trade and its a massive part of the country.”