A Fife MSP dropped into his local to support the Pubs Matter campaign and to highlight the many community benefits of our bars and clubs.

Alex Rowley said that the impact of Covid and the restrictions put in place, including a ban on the sale of alcohol, has put businesses at risk of closing their doors for good.

He visited the Kings Bar in Kelty and said: "Public health comes first and I have supported the measures being put in place, but I am also supporting pubs and clubs and making the case for financial support that will help them pay the bills and get through this period.

"The Pubs Matter campaign highlights the many positives of the hospitality sector on local people and local communities.

"These are vibrant businesses employing a lot of people and will be able to bounce back once we get to the other side of Covid."

The MSP said that pubs help people come together and play their part in combatting loneliness and social isolation.

Research from Oxford University found that people who have a local pub are generally happier, have more close friends and feel more connected to their community and that throughout the COVID pandemic, publicans have been supporting the local response in their communities.

Across the UK the pub and brewing sector supports nearly 900,000 jobs and contributes £23 billion to the economy each year.

Bar manager at the Kings, Mandy Wishart, said: "The last year has been tough for our staff and customers with the pub being closed over many months.

"It is not just about alcohol and food, it’s also about the social contact, the warmth and the friendship that our pub provides.

“We have been staying in touch with our older regulars just to make sure they are ok and have all they need and for many they say they just miss the company and the banter.”