Burnley tea room and party venue owner vows she 'won't go down without a fight' after new lockdown rules announced
The owner of a Burnley tea room and party venue has spoken of her devastation at the announcement of today's stricter lockdown restrictions.
Kelly Bland said she felt like crying after Prime Minister Boris Johnson increased lockdown restrictions for residents and businesses in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley as coronavirus cases begin to surge.
From next Tuesday residents won't be allowed to socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.
Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only and late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am.
Kelly, who opened the Krafty Cow tea room in the town centre four years ago, said: "This is just a total disaster for my business and everything I have worked for.
"This place is my life, I have built it from scratch and I won't go down without a fight."
Describing the business as a 'funky little tea room,' where people of all ages can enjoy arts and crafts workshops, Kelly has won an army of regular customers with her freshly cooked food and home-made cakes.
She regularly host children's parties at the weekend, and since moving from Boot Way to larger premises in St James Street in February, Kelly has worked round the clock to transform a room on the first floor into a children's magical party venue catering to different themes.
Even the staircase leading to the room has been decorated in keeping with the fantasy theme with fake grass on the stairs and woodland images, hearts, flowers and fairies on the walls.
She said: "We are covid secure and I was making plans to get my parties up and running.
"We would be adhering to the rules of social distance as the plan was for parents to drop off and collect their children and as schools have now returned we were looking to host the parties for children in the same class 'bubbles.'
"I have spent all of lockdown working on the room, it's the one thing that kept me going through some really tough times.
"So many people have been messaging me and asking when we will be back up and running."
The Krafty Cow is also host to a weekly Knit and Natter group and the regular Natter Shack events that bring people who may feel lonely and isolated together. These are also on hold indefinitely.
Kelly said: "These groups were all about bringing people together to boost their physical and mental wellbeing but all that has been taken away."
Althought disheartened at the latest announcements, Kelly, who runs the business with the help of her family, said her loyal customers have shown her fantastic support adding: "Customers come here because we offer something a bit different, a lovely place with fresh cooked food.
"Our customers are amazing, they have kept us going through these very challenging times."