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Cumbrian pubs to benefit from reduced business rates

Credit: PA

Pubs across Cumbria are set to benefit from a £1000 reduction in their business rates.

In Copeland currently only 5p in every pound spent on business rates comes back to the borough.

Publicans say this announcement will help them through difficult times and the money will benefit the local economy.

"Trade has dropped in the last five yearss and it is quite significant I would say.

"There are various things that are to blame for that however, and you just have to deal with it and obviously the £1,000 gift is going to help all of us involved in public houses."

– Pauline Cullen, Landlady

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Praise for good behaviour on 'Black Eye Friday'

People are encouraged to drink water in between alcoholic drinks Credit: ITV News Border

People across the south of Scotland and Cumbria have been praised for their good behaviour on what is known as 'black eye Friday'.

The last Friday before Christmas is statistically one of the busiest of the year for emergency services, with many businesses finishing for the year and hosting their annual parties.

However, across Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, there were very few incidents recorded.

People are being reminded to drink in moderation Credit: ITV News Border

In Dumfries, the Pub Watch scheme had no reports of any violence or misconduct throughout the night.

The group co-ordinator, Jackie Dickson, says she thinks people are beginning to listen to the message about being sensible with their alcohol consumption, and eating a meal before heading to the pub.

"It was a very busy night but it was trouble free. Everyone was in the festive spirit and enjoying themselves.

"We had two events running between Slipstream and the 102 Club and they were both well attended with no incidents.

"A lot of people were out but they were well behaved and had plenty of water too."

– Jackie Dickson, Co-ordinator, Pub Watch Dumfries and Galloway
Jackie Dickson praised party-goers in Dumfries Credit: ITV News Border

It was a similar story at another of the town's busy pubs, where there was a band night on.

Rosie Bunney, Manager, Urban Grill Credit: ITV News Border

"The atmosphere was great, everyone was having a good time without any issues and there were no issues from people i've spoken to on the same street.

"We would like to remind people however that violence will not be tolerated over the festive season and throughout the year, so urge everyone to stay in good spirits and enjoy their night."

– Rosie Bunney, Manager, Urban Grill

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Pub closures across Scottish Borders

A report has shown that 20% of all pubs in the Scottish Borders have closed in the last 5 years.

Alistair Moody runs a pub and hotel in the Yarrow Valley.

He says the last few years have been a struggle for a number of years, and he is not surprised so many pubs have closed their doors.

He tells our reporter Jenny Longden why he thinks they are suffering.

South of Scotland loses 20% of pubs

Another pub for sale in Selkirk Credit: ITV Border

20% of pubs in the South of Scotland have closed in the past 5 years, according to a new report.

The findings published by brewer Molson Coors show that in the Scottish Borders, 18 pubs have closed since 2007. In Dumfries and Galloway, 17 pubs have closed in that time.

The report also highlighted the importance of pubs in local communities, saying a third of Scots visit their local twice a month,

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont said: “It is undoubtedly worrying that so many pubs in the Borders have had to shut over the past five years.

"A fifth of pubs we had five years ago are now shut and many which are still in business are having to work harder and harder just to stay afloat. Pubs can be of great importance in some local communities, acting as a meeting place for people to catch up and socialise.

"With so many Scots visiting their pubs on a regular basis it is clearly important that we give them our support so they can remain open for years to come.

"Pubs are also vital employers, offering opportunities in a climate when many people are finding it hard to gain a job. With over 50,000 jobs and generating £1.5bn of our national GDP in Scotland, the beer and pub industry is vital to our local and national economy.”