A LANDLORD says "pubs are in danger of going under" with no prospect of re-opening to customers before July, due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Tim Churchman, landlord at The Bridge at Tibberton, said that despite the government’s announcement that pubs may be able to re-open in July, many businesses have already lost too much money to survive.

Mr Churchman, 55, said: “Our pubs are in danger of going under. Any pub landlord that tells you different must be in their own bubble. Unless you own the building, the chances are low of surviving and that’s the truth.”

Meanwhile, a Worcester pub popular with the LGBT+ community has launched a fundraising campaign in the hope of surviving. The Crowdfunding page for The Flag aims to raise money to help pay bills now, to allow the bar to re-open when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Lee Winter, from the bar in Lowesmoor, set up the fundraiser despite receiving a £10,000 grant from the government.

He said the bar has lost around £4,000 worth of ‘wasted stock’ in the cellar, which he will be unable to claim back from insurers.

He said the £10,000 "doesn’t go far in supporting" The Flag, adding "We continue to pay our staff until we receive our furlough payments back. We still have bills and insurances etc.

“Same as other venues and small businesses, we are not alone experiencing the same issues. Just like other venues, we want to survive.

“If we were forced to close, losing the The Flag would have a huge impact on many people in our community.”

Mr Winter added: “The Flag doesn’t just pour pints, we support our community members in so many ways in providing a safe and fun place to socialise. Coming out, advice and support around mental health issues, sexual health, hate crime, and we also promote wellbeing for every member of the LGBT+ communities.”

The Crowdfunding page says: “Covid-19 crisis has created an uncertain future for UK small businesses.

“We are trying to ensure the survival of our LGBT+ community venue. We are Worcestershire’s only independent LGBT+ community venue staffed by a small number of community members.

“Since the Covid-19 lockdown, we have ensured that our furloughed team have received 100 per cent pay including still having to pay current and all future bills.

“We hope that you feel the same way we do, that our future survival is critical to our local LGBT+ community.

“Since lockdown, we have received £0 in sales revenue so any support that you can offer will ensure systems are put in place for everyone’s safety.”

To support the pub, visit .crowdfunder.co.uk/theflag?

Mr Churchman, of The Bridge at Tibberton, said: “I received £10,000 from a relief grant but for a pub this isn’t much – it doesn’t get you very far. At the moment the relief grant is very minimal.

“We are very much a summer pub – we lose trade in the winter. Effectively, we have lost two months of our summer trade already.”

Mr Churchman took over the pub two years ago and has been in the catering industry since he was 15 years old.

Discussing the impact of Covid-19 and the forced closures on pubs, he said: “I think it’s really sad. It’s soul destroying.

“I had taken over a rundown little pub, cashed in part of my pension for this place and recently had a complete refurb.

“Even the big names are going to suffer.”

The pub has been offering a takeaway service, however this has ‘slowed down dramatically.’

Mr Churchman said Boris Johnson’s’ announcement of reopening pubs in July is ‘very loose’ and this could all change, depending on the country’s coronavirus infection rate.

He added: “Two metre social distancing is fine to follow, but when you have had a drink it’s much more difficult, especially if you’re indoors and there’s less space.”