A North West software engineer has developed a tool to help readers 'help out' with the combined effort to restart the UK's economy.

Gerald Benischke, based in Lancashire, has created an app that will allow Cumbria residents to find and search a list of restaurants in the area that are taking part in the government's new 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme.

Users can locate their local participating eateries by name, address, postcode or simply through dragging the on-screen map. Mr Benischke has open-sourced the tool, hoping to maximise its reach.

He said: "The website is optimised for both mobile and desktop use, offers a search by postcode, town or village name and offers a zoomable/draggable map."

Through the 'Eat Out to Help Out' initiative, diners this month could see their restaurant bills slashed by as much as 50 per cent.

Readers visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August will receive the half price discount.

The scheme forms part of Number 10's strategy to reignite the economy, following a historic decline in consumption during the lockdown period.

Government ministers have spent recent days plugging the initiative.

Commenting on the scheme, chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our Eat Out to Help Out scheme’s number one aim is to help protect the jobs of 1.8 million chefs, waiters and restaurateurs by boosting demand and getting customers through the door.

“More than 72,000 establishments will be serving discounted meals across the country, with the government paying half the bill. The industry is a vital ingredient to our economy and it’s been hit hard by coronavirus, so enjoy summer safely by showing your favourite places your support – we’ll pay half.”