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We could tell by the queues that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was boosting city centre eateries in Peterborough and over 100 in the area are taking part.

Restaurants like the Tap & Tandoor, EAST and dining pubs like The Brewery Tap in Peterborough have told ESP it’s proved popular with the offer running until the end of August so don’t hang about!

The national campaign was started to encourage more people to dine out and boost the trade hard hit by lockdown. You’ll receive a 50 per cent discount when you eat in restaurants that are registered with the national ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until August 31.

The city council’s decision to further help the scheme by offering free car parking at the Car Haven car park from 5pm Monday – Wednesday up until August 31, has also been praised for helping residents enjoy an even cheaper night out.

Gareth Norman, who runs Bean Around cafe in Cathedral Square, said: “The biggest positive for us is the fact there are more people in the city centre during midweek. We are seeing lots of new faces coming in along with our regular customers, so our midweek custom has definitely been boosted.

“For smaller businesses like cafes, we have to work hard, because people are coming in for coffee and snacks as opposed to full meals in restaurants. But the scheme gives our customers the opportunity for extra choice, so as they are getting a discount they can consider having some food or a snack with their drinks.”

City centre visitor numbers are also showing signs of recovering, with latest Centre for Cities data showing that footfall levels for early July showed a peak of around 80 per cent of pre-lockdown levels.

Cllr Marco Cereste, cabinet member for street scene and the environment at Peterborough City Council, said: “Having been out in the city centre on week nights recently, I’m delighted to see so many people out and about. Last week I tried two different restaurants and could not get a booking. We’ve worked hard to regenerate the city centre in recent years and it’s an area to be proud of with great choice for meals and drinks out.

“While the latest Centre for Cities data shows that Peterborough high street is recovering following lockdown pretty well, it’s important that we continue to do all we can to protect our local economy during this time, so I would urge everyone to make the most of the Eat Out to Help out scheme and our free parking.”

A full list of businesses in Peterborough registered with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme can be found

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