More than 100 pubs in Bath and the surrounding area are already able to serve alcohol ahead of kick off for the Women’s World Cup Final.

Bath and North East Somerset Council confirmed that more than 122 of the 176 pubs in the district are licensed to serve booze in time for England’s match against Spain on Sunday.

With England’s first world cup final since 1966 being held in Australia, many have feared that the kick off — which is at 11am UK time — would be before many pubs’ licensed hours would allow them to sell alcohol.

The situation prompted government action, with Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove saying: “I’ve asked councils to do everything they can to help pubs get open earlier on Sunday so people can come together and enjoy a drink before kick-off for this special occasion.”

But Bath and North East Somerset is already ahead of the game.

The council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services Tim Ball said: “We have not received any licensing applications or enquiries since the Lionesses reached the Women’s World Cup Final, however, 122 of the 176 licensed pubs in B&NES are already permitted to serve alcohol prior to or from the kick-off time.

“It’s fantastic that the Lionesses will be competing and I hope those watching will enjoy the occasion.”

While there is no guarantee that the game will be screened in every venue, many publicans want bumper trade in what has been a tough year so far.

In neighbouring North Somerset, a council spokesperson said: “We’re all keen to be supporting England for the World Cup Final on Sunday. We’re happy to work with businesses and be as flexible as we can to deliver safe experiences for local supporters to back the team. Good luck, Lionesses!”

Somerset Council stated that it had also not received any applications from pubs to open earlier.

LDRS, John Wimperis