Durham-based restaurant, Finbarr’s, is the latest business to offer a significant financial donation to Open North Foundation, the business-led, not for profit, that provides grant aid and in-kind support to small firms in the North East looking to recover from Covid-19.

Finbarr’s is the second firm from the hospitality sector to provide support, the other being Ramside Estates.

Established 10 years ago and located in Aykley Heads, Durham, the family run restaurant boasts an extensive menu, within a contemporary setting, where diners enjoy options such as a la carte, Sunday lunch, group dining, corporate hospitality and wedding packages.

As well as a financial donation, the restaurant is donating a meal for four people, with champagne and wines.

Thanks to the generosity of individuals and a vast, diverse range of companies and organisations, Open North Foundation administers grant aid and in-kind support, such as marketing and accountancy, to small to medium sized businesses in the region who, but for the pandemic, would be financially viable and offering high quality jobs.

Established in July 2020, the Foundation comprises of a board of directors, ambassadors and supporters, all of whom provide their services free of charge, with all money raised being distributed as grant aid to support SMEs in the North East.

Barry O’Leary, managing director, Finbarr’s, said: “Like much of the hospitality sector, we have grappled with the impact of covid and, it goes without saying, it has affected our business.

“During the pandemic we operated a take-out service which, thankfully, helped to keep us afloat but, like many restaurants across the country, it has been an uncertain and difficult period.

“Having watched the North East business sector rally to support the Open North Foundation, we wanted to extend our support and hope the contribution helps other small businesses who need continued help.”

Richard Swart, chair of Open North Foundation, said: “We applaud Finbarr’s for stepping up to support the Open North Foundation. It has felt the effects of the pandemic and its gesture to support other organisations in need is magnificent and testament to its positive mindset, we wish it the best of luck moving forward.”