Northumberland B&B owners hopeful of July reopening - but fear the worst if there is a second spike

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A north Northumberland couple who missed out on financial support to help them through lockdown are desperately hoping they can reopen their B&B in July.

Rachel and Dan Bexon, who run Hay Farm House B&B at Ford and Etal, were not eligible for government grants during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Rachel said: “We’ve lost the income from three of our busiest months and haven’t been able to claim any of the government grants so have been totally reliant on Dan's income. He works at Ahlstrom at Chirnside and has been doing many extra hours overtime.”

Hay Farm House B&B.Hay Farm House B&B.
Hay Farm House B&B.

The government’s roadmap to recovery suggests B&B could open from July 4.

“Our main worry is another wave of covid and having another lockdown period,” said Rachel. “That could simply finish us.

“We have payment holidays on our loans and tenancy payments but obviously it has to be paid back at some point so we couldn't cope with another hit.”

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She admitted: “We have been here three years and worked hard and built up a really good reputation and the thought of losing it all is awful.”

Hay Farm House B&B, Ford & Etal.Hay Farm House B&B, Ford & Etal.
Hay Farm House B&B, Ford & Etal.

They are now taking bookings again.

“Lots of regular guests have been ringing asking to book in and we are taking tentative bookings for July which may be subject to change obviously,” said Rachel.

“We are in the most fantastic area to socially distance, lots of open spaces, fresh air, huge beaches and views to die for and of course a bit of luxury to come back to at the end of the day.

“We have implemented lots of new procedures in place to keep both guests and us safe. We only have three bedrooms, all with en-suite so everyone can all have individual space.

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Rachel and Dan Bexon.Rachel and Dan Bexon.
Rachel and Dan Bexon.

“We are always pretty positive and look on the bright side of life, so really want to crack on now but be safe at the same time.

“It’s been a very difficult few months but it’s now time to look forward and build for the future.”

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Views of the Cheviots from Hay Farm House.Views of the Cheviots from Hay Farm House.
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