MORE than £5million worth of discounts was claimed by residents and visitors to Somerset during the month of August as part of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Customers to the 1,107 restaurants across the county that signed up to the scheme saved £5.15 on average per meal when dining out at eateries.

Weston-super-Mare topped the table for Somerset claiming 209,000 meals and £832,000 of discount

Bridgwater and West Somerset were close behind claiming 101,000 meals under the scheme, amassing a total discount for the month of £623,000.

On average, each registered restaurant in Somerset claimed 883 discounted meals – 68 a day for the 13 eligible days.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hailed the success of the scheme, which was designed to support the hospitality industry after a challenging few months because of coronavirus.

The Chancellor said: “From the get-go our mission has been to protect jobs, and to do this we needed to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.

“Today’s figures continue to show Eat Out to Help Out has been a success.

“I want to thank everyone, from restaurant owners to waiters, chefs and diners, for embracing it and helping drive our economic recovery.

“The scheme is just one part of our Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.”

The breakdown for Somerset constituencies is as follows: 

Bath - 151,000 meals claimed, £676,000 discount 

Bridgwater and West Somerset - 101,000 meals claimed, £623,000 discount

North East Somerset - 55,000 meals claimed, £352,000 discount 

North Somerset - 56,000 meals claimed, £315,000 discount 

Somerton and Frome - 10,3000 meals claimed, £696,000 discount 

Taunton Deane - 102,000 meals claimed , £491,000 discount

Wells - 144,000 meals claimed, £715,000 discount

Weston-super-Mare - 209,000 meals claimed, £832,000 discount

Yeovil - 56,000 meals claimed, £335,000

Nationally, more than 100 million meals were claimed by about 84,700 restaurants under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme

According to data from booking site OpenTable, restaurant reservations rose by 52 per cent compared with the Monday-to-Wednesday period in August 2019.

Many eateries are calling on the government to introduce a similar scheme as high streets fall silent and summer comes to an end.

The government said it will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, until January 12, 2021.