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Coronavirus Kent: The Leather Bottle in Cobham sets up JustGiving page

A pub landlady says she has made the tough decision to set up a fundraising page to support her pub.

Sue and Bryan Treleaven have been running The Leather Bottle in Cobham, near Gravesend, for the past 10 years.

The Leather Bottle in Cobham
The Leather Bottle in Cobham

The couple say they fear their pub may not survive the ongoing coronavirus crisis, despite the help offered by the government.

After furloughing their team of more than 20 employees, the pair say they are desperate to support their staff and keep their business afloat.

Sue said: "Because we have a rateable value of £54,000, we don't get any grants, any loans.

She said they had been turned away from banks who cannot offer them financial support due to pubs being deemed "high risk" businesses.

"We have been on the phone for hours," she explained.

The Leather Bottle hosted MollyFest, a fundraiser for the Molly McLaren Foundation in 2018. Picture: Steve Crispe
The Leather Bottle hosted MollyFest, a fundraiser for the Molly McLaren Foundation in 2018. Picture: Steve Crispe

"The staff were going into panic mode about their futures. We had no choice but to start a fundraising page.

"It was really with a heavy heart that we did it. It's been quite a hard thing to do to ask people to donate any amount, however small, and hopefully this can keep the staff employed."

The pub does a lot of fundraising, particularly with the Molly McLaren Foundation which raises awareness of eating disorders, and to raise funding for charities which can provide direct support to sufferers of eating disorders.

Molly used to work at the pub. She was just 23 when she was murdered in 2017.

Sue said: "We do lots of charity work. We have worked with MollyFest for a couple of years. We don't want to lose the pub we don't want the staff to lose their jobs."

The couple estimate they need a minimum of £10,000 to keep their business going.

The money raised will go towards paying outstanding bills and support staff beyond the furlough scheme.

If you would like to donate to The Leather Bottle's JustGiving page, click here.

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