Mustard Pot landlady thanks Chapel Allerton community as £13,000 raised within days following emotional appeal to save pub amid Covid-19 debt crisis

The landlady of  Chapel Allerton pub the Mustard Pot said she is "massively grateful" after £13,000 was donated within days of her launching a fundraising appeal.

Nicola Storey

Nicola Storey launched a Crowdfunder appeal on Friday morning (June 19) after saying she feared 'unimaginable debt' due to the Covid-19 crisis may leave her no option but to permanently close the pub she has run for 14 years.

More than 450 people have supported the 'Help us save The Mustard Pot' appeal, which smashed through the original £10,000 target over the weekend and this morning (June 22) stood at just under £13,000.

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Appeal launched to save Mustard PotPeople can either donate or buy vouchers that can be used at the pub when it reopens.

The Mustard Pot pub beer garden

Miss Storey said the current total is made up of around 80 per cent donations and 20 per cent vouchers.

Mum-of-two Miss Storey, 40, said: "I feel massively overwhelmed. It's just really heartwarming to feel all the love of the community and to think people want us to get through this and continue to be here.

"I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the money they have donated and the vouchers they have bought.

"The messages of support have really helped so much. Reading them made me cry."

She added: "It is a huge help and I'm massively grateful. We are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure we are here for the next 20 years."

MIss Storey, who leases the pub from Marston's, had to temporarily close down in March.

She said bills continue to mount and she is still waiting for Government advice on what guidelines will be for pubs reopening.

She said the business would continue to lose money if it was allowed to open with both two metre and one metre social distancing.

Miss Storey wrote on the fundraising page: "We are in unimaginable debt, and despite us trying everything we can think of to pivot the business, none of the numbers stack up. We are desperate."

Michelle Ross wrote on the Crowdfunder page: "As a member of staff at St. Matthew’s Primary, we’ve spent many an end-of-term Friday relaxing with colleagues there. Good luck to you all!"

Francesca Tolley wrote: "This has always been a warm and friendly local pub for me and my family.

"We’ve shared family parties, birthday meals and after work drinks here for years. It’s an important part of the community and would be very sad if it had to close."