WELLS had the second highest amount of discounted meals in Somerset thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

More than 140,000 meals were eaten with £715,000 discounted.

MP James Heappey said: “I am so pleased to see the Eat Out to Help Out has been a huge success here in Wells.

“We have so many fantastic restaurants who have had such a hard time having to shut and so to see them safely reopen and welcome customers back in good numbers is very welcome indeed.

“Having lost a lot of business from tourists, it was important local people had the opportunity to support businesses while saving money, too

“I hope this has also given people the confidence to return to restaurants following lockdown.”

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

Nosh-stalgia is a Wells restaurant that had a number of bookings thanks to the scheme.

“We were so busy, we adhered to government guide lines with a two metre distance policy upheld,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant.

“We were able to fill our little cafe bar restaurant three times over with bookings.”

Eat Out to Help Out was a scheme created by the Government allowing customers to receive a 50 per cent discount on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in restaurants.

It ran from August 3 until August 31.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was pleased with the success of the scheme, which is suggested to have protected 1.8million jobs across the country.

“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,” said Chancellor Sunak.

“These 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.”