The owner of a wedding venue says her business has suffered a “truly devastating year” after it lost “hundreds of thousands" of pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anna Rankin, who runs the Micklefield Hall wedding venue near Rickmansworth with her husband Jamie, says business is “very hard at the moment”, with weddings being “driven underground” because of restrictions during the pandemic.

Mrs Rankin says cancellations and people deferring a year has left her business, which can host weddings of up to 200 people outside, fighting to survive.

“We have lost a whole year’s trade,” Mrs Rankin said. “We have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“This has been a truly devastating year – not only for our Brides & Grooms but also for our business. This is an industry worth well over 10 billion to the economy.

“It’s tough as people forget that just because you do not have a wedding does not mean there are no costs. The cost is big, we have a big venue, and there is a huge upkeep and there are quite a few staff to ensure it looks as it does."

Asked whether there was a risk of the wedding venue closing, Mrs Rankin, who has been running weddings for more than 20 years, replied: "Never."

She said: “We would never close, we will continue to borrow money if required to ensure that we are still here. Micklefield is our home.

“Things would have been very difficult without grants and the furlough scheme to keep us going and the Government have been very helpful with this.

“We are 100 per cent invested in this and weddings is a fantastic business if you care. And as it is our business we doubly care; we have a great business and we will be here but it will just take a long time to pay back all the money we have had to borrow."

November lockdown restrictions mean weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are not allowed – previous regulations under the Government’s tier system meant no more than 15 people were permitted to attend.

Mrs Rankin fears those restrictions may be in place for several months after the current lockdown restrictions are lifted and is urging the Government to “act” to save a “dying industry”.

In a heartfelt plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mrs Rankin said: “Wedding venues know how to run weddings in a safe and COVID secure way and we have the ability to track and trace.

“We can prove to you that weddings in licenced venues are not the super spreader events.

“If you act soon and base guest numbers on venue capacity, you will save this dying industry.”