WITH the Eat Out to Help Out scheme officially finished, figures have shown that £710,000 in meal discounts was claimed in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency throughout the scheme.

The total discount claimed in Northern Ireland was £16,146,000 as of August 27.

In Fermanagh and South Tyrone, 117 restaurants registered for the scheme; however, the actual figure may be higher as this only relates to businesses which have less than 26 outlets, with the actual figure including larger restaurant chains in the region.

There have been a total of 2,789,000 meals claimed in Northern Ireland with 119,000 of these in the most westerly constituency, with the average meal discount being £5.97 - almost 20p higher than than the Northern Ireland average of £5.79.

Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said: "The UK-wide Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a fantastic initiative for Northern Ireland.

"Throughout the length of the scheme, 2.7 million meals were served, saving diners in Northern Ireland a staggering £16 million.

"Such UK Government intervention has been vital in protecting hospitality jobs in Northern Ireland and boosting its economic recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The sector is crucial to many livelihoods in Northern Ireland, with 60,000 jobs sustained by the sector, contributing more than £1.1 billion to the local economy annually."

While the scheme has officially come to an end, some businesses in Fermanagh have announced that they will be continuing the offer throughout September. All businesses have until September 30 to make a claim.