A hospitality crowdfunding campaign looking to challenge insurance companies refusing to honour business interruption policies has surpassed its initial £20,000 target.
The campaign, led by Rob Atkinson, a leading in-house hospitality lawyer from Black and White Hospitality, which operates the Marco Pierre White portfolio of restaurants, will now work with lawyers to review policies and insurers' reasons for declining claims.
The lawyers will then issue advice under each category of policy in advance of possible legal action against businesses it judges to be unfairly refusing claims.
UKHospitality, Best Western and Vine Hotels are among the businesses to have signed up to the campaign allowing it to proceed.
Atkinson said: "It's great news that we've already hit our initial target well in advance of the deadline and I would like to thank all those who have so far got involved. It is a clear indication of the support and solidarity in, and for, the hospitality industry. The contribution from UKHospitality means we can now get the next phase under way, but it doesn't stop here and I would urge anyone who thinks they've been let down by their insurer to get involved.
"We were fortunate to have early backing of UKHospitality, Best Western, Vine Hotels, Black and White Hospitality Management, Marco Pierre White and more latterly the Night Time Industries Association and Oxsana Hospitality but we don't want to rest on our laurels and will vehemently refuse to accept the unacceptable.
"We've got real momentum building and it's imperative that anyone who thinks they've been let down by their insurer, backs this campaign. We're here to represent the hospitality sector and no one else and our objective remains to put hospitality first rather than make a quick buck off the back of someone else's misfortune, as we've seen some evidence of."
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Businesses have taken out policies in good faith and many now find themselves not only at a loss but angry as to why they are not being honoured.
"This is a monumental crisis for businesses and the hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit. At such a time, businesses need all the support they can get to stay alive and keep jobs open. It is important that hospitality presents a united front and we are very happy to support this drive to ensure businesses are treated fairly by insurers."
To visit the crowdfunding page and get involved click here