BREWERIES and pub bosses are on the edge of their seats waiting for news from central government as pub closures could impact hundreds jobs across the county.

East Lancashire is home to many iconic names including Thwaites and Moorhouse's who could be stuck between a rock and a hard place if the prime minister announces pub closures this evening.

Thwaites brewery in Mellor Brook believe about 100 of their pubs could be affected if Lancashire's hospitality industry have to close their doors, which will not just affect the brewery producing the product but also their pubs across the county.

Andrew Buchanan, Thwaites director of pubs and brewing, said: "What is hugely significant is the impact it will have on the tenants in pubs and the jobs that they generate and the livelihoods of the people that depend on those pubs.

"That is by far the bigger concern as well as the income that we derive."

As Thwaites brew beer for their own venues, the potential closures could be catastrophic, not just for the pubs who are closing the doors but for the brewery as well.

Mr Buchanan has said that the company is hoping to receive grants from the government if closures are announced today.

"That will obviously have a significant fall down in what we do dependant on how wide-spread the pub closures are," he said. "If they do come in across Lancashire, that would affect us quite significantly.

"We do have pubs outside of Lancashire and I don't anticipate all of our pubs closing however the vast majority are within what we expect to be the affected areas."

The company does however have procedures in place in case today's announcement introduces a blanket closure of a significant number of their establishments.

"We brewed a couple of weeks ago and we have already been reducing the capacity we have been brewing because of the 10pm closure which was absolutely devastating," he continued.

"Further closure will clearly mean we reduce again."

Moorhouse's brewery in Burnley supplies to around 500 pubs in the 'red areas' which could see pubs closing.

Managing director Lee Williams is concerned about what the announcement could bring as one in five Moorhouse's pints are sold in the North West.

"As soon as that tap gets turned off its bound to have a significant effect on what we can do in terms of jobs and investments.

"Whilst it is an obvious concern about the rising admissions and deaths that have been reported, we are seeing some of our really good customers who we have been trading with for a long long time struggling now.

"We often as well keep reminding people that as we're one of a number of businesses in a supply chain, we can't be forgotten about either."

The brewery was hit hard by the first lockdown in March but have now put precautions in place including reducing production and organising bottle deliveries to allow them to sell product directly to the consumers.

"We are mindful after the previous lockdown we were, like a lot of brewers because of the immediate impact of that announcement, we had a lot of cost to absorb because of the amount of beer that was in the supply chain," Lee added.

"We have been keeping a careful watch on that and certainly we have been a bit leaner and a bit more careful in terms of managing that risk.

"Should the tap get turned off this evening, there is more cost that we are going to have to incur."