The city’s tourism sector is making a comeback in Brighton and Hove, councillors heard this week.

Executive director for environment, economy and culture, Nick Hibberd told the city’s Policy and Resources Recovery Committee hotel and bed and breakfast occupancy has been good during the summer.

Mr Hibberd singled out The Warren for its success as the organisation set up and managed a 300 seat outdoor venue on the beach throughout August.

However, he explained indoor events are “greatly limited by physical distancing requirements”, which is why the Brighton Centre remains closed.

During Wednesday’s virtual meeting, he said: “Overall, in terms of the restart of retail and hospitality things have gone pretty well in the city.

“From what I hear occupancy rates in our hotels and B&Bs have been pretty good during the summer, which is encouraging.

“That’s not to say there are not many businesses out there that have had a really tough time.

“A number of businesses will have fallen through the gaps of the different types of provision provided nationally.”

Brighton and Hove City Council handed out £68 million to more than 4,600 companies as part of the government’s small business grant scheme.

A further £3.7 million went out in discretionary grants to small businesses which did not meet the criteria for the original grant.

The authority continues to battle with the government to hand out at least a further £7.1 million to an additional 600 struggling businesses in the city.

During the meeting administration leader Green councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty underlined his commitment made in August, to lobby the government for the remaining cash.

Green councillor Tom Druitt asked what else the authority can do to help businesses.

The authority has offered rent relief to businesses occupying its commercial property portfolio.

Mr Hibberd said: “What we are tending to do is provide a lot of support to link them to where support is available.

“For the creative and cultural industries, we have provided support in the bidding for funding and raising awareness of funding from the Arts Council.

“Have managed to attract a significant amount of funding to the city as a result of that approach.”

Another boost came from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, under which city restaurants sold 378,000 meals.

Restaurants in Brighton Pavilion, Hove and Brighton Kemptown claimed back discounts worth more than £2.3 million.

The largest proportion of meals were sold in the Brighton Pavilion constituancy where 318 restaurants took part in the scheme.