Penrith and The Border MP Neil Hudson visited Tirril Brewery to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on operations, how the Government support schemes had helped the business, and plans for the future.
Tirril Brewery was founded by Chris Tomlinson in 1999 and moved to Long Marton in 2007, where it creates an array of traditional craft beers, as well as a range of spirits, which are only sold in local shops, bars and restaurants.
Although the coronavirus pandemic caused significant problems, as it has done with many other industries, Tirril Brewery focused on preparing for the future and those visiting Cumbria for a staycation.
During the visit, owner and head brewer Chris showed Dr Hudson around the site and discussed some of the issues faced by the industry.
Mr Tomlinson said: “It was great to meet Neil at the brewery and show him the challenges we face with our new normal and for him to hear how the government support had helped us look after our staff and business this summer.
“He took great interest in our concerns about future beer duty costs, but was also encouraged to hear of what a busy summer this has been for tourism in Cumbria.
“I believe his obvious support for small breweries and hospitality in the county will certainly give our industry a voice in Westminster this winter when we need it most.”
Dr Hudson said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to visit Tirril Brewery — one of a number of amazing breweries in the Penrith and the Border constituency.
“I was really heartened by the positive attitude of Chris and his team, not only to keep going throughout the challenges they have faced, but in making exciting plans for the business in the future.”
Dr Hudson also visited Eden Wedding Barn, Little Musgrave, following the announcement that wedding venues could reopen for limited number of sit-down receptions in August.
Eden Wedding Barn is a family-run wedding venue set in a traditional 200-year-old Westmorland stone barn.
The barn, which was originally converted to host a family wedding in 2015, was opened as a business in May 2016, and has since hosted more than 25,000 guests.
Cliff and Carolyn Harker, who own the Eden Wedding Barn, were severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, due to the nature of their business as an independent wedding venue.
Dr Hudson said: “I am thrilled that venues such as the Eden Barn can now open their doors again for viewings and small weddings. This will make a huge difference for so many businesses as well as the happy couples and their families.
“Businesses such as the Eden Barn are vital to our local economy. Not only are they personally hosting visitors but bringing economic benefit to many other local businesses and showcasing our constituency at its best.
“I am delighted that they can now move forward through this difficult time and are looking to the coming year with such a strong and positive attitude.
“It is vitally important to keep people safe throughout this pandemic and I am pleased that weddings and viewings can now safely go ahead and businesses such as the Eden Barn can plan for the future.”