LLANDUDNO’s economy faces disaster from the latest local restrictions, prompting businesses and politicians to call for Government support.

The local economy relies heavily on the hospitality and tourism industry which had been particularly hard hit by the latest coronavirus local restrictions.

Cllr Greg Robbins, a Conwy council cabinet member who represents a Llandudno ward, said: “I am genuinely scared for the future of Llandudno and the other areas of Conwy County that rely on tourism to survive.”

“Hospitality is Llandudno’s major employer. We are seeing hotels and other establishments closing,which has a massive effect on their employees. There is also the effect on the supply chain that supports these businesses and the workforce they employ.

“We desperately need financial support for the hospitality sector to make sure it can survive.”

Berin Jones, chairman of the Llandudno Hospitality Association and owner of the Shelbourne Hotel said: “The local restrictions have had a devastating effect on our town’s businesses.

“When we started the 10pm closure of bars, pubs and licensed restaurants that had a major impact on those businesses over and above the impact from the reduced capacity they had suffered.

“The additional local restrictions has taken away all the visitor economy and left a significant financial impact, for example one restaurant took £5,500 on the Saturday before the restrictions and on the first Saturday after the restrictions it was £850, and Saturdays are the biggest day of the week to get local people eating out. On hotel lost £50,000 in coach business for the whole of October as soon as the local restrictions were announced, this has resulted in the closure of the business.

“But where will it go from here? Our key point as an industry is we have had hundreds of thousands of visitors after the lockdown ended in July and no members of staff or businesses were linked to coronavirus. The restrictions only hit our industry. The actions to prevent infections is going the wrong way because it is not tackling where the infections are being generated.

“We are the ones being economically destroyed. We were told we needed to be restricted to save the nation, but people are buying alcohol in supermarkets and are getting together at home to drink and watch football on TV for instance.

“The latest evidence from the Office of National Statistics I have seen, is only four per cent of infections across the UK have been traced to the hospitality industry.

“We as an industry are calling for financial support from both the Westminster and Cardiff Governments.”

Mr Shibber Ahmed, owner of the Blue Elephant Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant in Gloddaeth Street said: “My business has gone down 90 per cent in just a week. The Saturday before the restrictions were imposed we had 184 guests in the restaurant, the Saturday after it was just 16.

“We are struggling and I am not sure we can survive the winter if this goes on unless we get Government help.

“Unless there is Government support a lot of businesses won’t survive.

“Once the furlough scheme ends I don’t know how I can keep employing my workforce of 19 people.

“There is no evidence restaurants and hotels are breeding grounds for the virus, so we are being unfairly hit. We have done everything we have been asked to do with the rules and restrictions yet still we are being hit. What else can we do?

Town cllr Ian Turner said: “It is a disaster for the local economy in Llandudno and the surrounding area. I think there is a timebomb waiting to go off if it continues.

“Obviously health comes first but it is a balancing act. It is a major blow to the town and North Wales. Llandudno has 20 per cent of the bed spaces in Wales. That indicates how big a disaster it is to the tourism and hospitality economy, without it we can’t survive.

“Government help is vital now more than ever it has been since the pandemic began.

“There is no future at the moment for the entertainment and hospitality industry, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Cllr Turner works as an entertainer in Llandudno’s hotels, “I have not worked since the beginning of the pandemic, my last booking was on Wednesday March 11 and I have no bookings in the diary.”