A glimpse of a brighter future

In a crisis people get creative.

By Guy Cookson
Monday, 30th March 2020, 5:00 pm

It is probably something to do with the combination of pressure and constraint that spurs us all to be inventive.

We have seen a number of our clients pivot their businesses to deal with changed circumstances. These efforts are admirable.

Lancaster Brewery, for example, has transformed what would usually be a lively venue which plays host to parties, weddings and festivals into the Brew Market.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Drop in, maintain a healthy distance from others, and take home a selection of craft beers, artisan spirits and fine wines from independent producers based in the region.

It is a great concept, beautifully executed and pulled together in a matter of days.

At Hotfoot we have turned our focus to supporting our friends and clients in the hospitality sector, many of whom have had to close their doors entirely while Covid-19 reaps havoc.

We launched a website - vouchforthefuture.co.uk - where people can support local pubs, restaurants and venues through the pandemic by buying gift vouchers to use after the virus has run its course. The idea is to buy now and experience later.

Hospitality venues and leisure destinations can sell gift vouchers directly to customers online, which are instantly delivered by email

Gift vouchers are something to look forward to at the best of times. At the moment they really do offer a glimpse of a brighter, better future. The take-up has been fantastic, and already includes everything from Michelin-star restaurants to craft breweries.

Phil Simpson, director of C2 Investments, which owns Lancaster Brewery and a group of pubs and hotels in Lancashire and Cumbria said: “Our region has faced many challenges but none of them has ever hit with such speed or caused such a fundamental shift in our behaviour as this Covid-19 crisis.

“This gift voucher platform represents a first step to creating self perpetuating growth in our economy, encouraging the green shoots of local recovery. It’s a brilliant idea and I hope people heartily embrace it.”

By Guy Cookson, Partner at Hotfoot Design

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.