Stewartry residents and visitors have been enjoying good food for half the normal price.

Restaurants and cafes across the district have signed up to the government’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, which got under way at the start of the month in a bid to help the hospitality industry.

It offers people the chance to enjoy 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks at sit-in eateries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Among the participating businesses is Ernespie Farm near Castle Douglas. The centre’s David McMiken said: “We’ve no complaints so far. Monday to Wednesday are really busy, although it is maybe moving trade from the back end of the week. It’s hard to tell at the moment. It’s been effective and it’s good to see people coming back out.”

The Laurie Arms at Haugh of Urr has also had plenty of customers. The pub’s Sandra Yates said: “It’s been very successful.We were full Tuesday, Wednesday last week and we had just a few tables left on Monday. It’s been both locals and holiday makers who have come out. We’re normally busy at this time of year but not as busy as this.”

Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack has encouraged folk to take advantage of the scheme.

He said: “We are fortunate to have the range and quality of eating places we have right across the constituency from Dumfries to Stranraer and many are taking part. The discounts will continue through August.

“I’d encourage constituents to take advantage of this pioneering opportunity.”

The scheme is open to all establishments that sell food for consumption on the premises, such as hotels, leisure centres and office canteens.

No vouchers are needed to get the meal discount, it will be deducted from the bill. To find which businesses are taking part, visit www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/