AN incredible 142,000 meals were eaten out in Eastbourne and Willingdon during the August government scheme.

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has described it as ‘a move that boosted the hospitality sector and confidence in going out.’

The total amount of discount claimed for the initiative was £829,000 through the 158 local establishments that signed up with the average discount per meal standing at £5.86 in Eastbourne.

Caroline said: “This scheme has been a major success across the country and the local figures show it’s been just as popular with residents and visitors in Eastbourne too.

“I used it several times to help our restaurants and it was good to see people out enjoying the discounts available and learning to live with the ‘new normal’ in increasing confidence.

“This initiative was launched in addition to the VAT reduction to 5% for the hospitality industry until next year, which is an important sector in our town.

“It really shows the government has done a tremendous amount to help the economy bounce back strongly here in Eastbourne and across the UK.”

Across the UK, more than 100 million meals were claimed under the scheme, which ran throughout the month of August, with 87,400 establishments signing up.