Coronavirus

Pubs, hospitality and brewers call on chancellor to save the future of pubs

Trade associations representing pubs, hospitality and brewers have sent a joint letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for measures to save the future of pubs.

In the letter, The British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeepers and UK Hospitality, who between them represent owners and operators of 35,000 pubs across the nation, state their “unwavering commitment” to the safety of pub staff and customers, and cite the industry’s ongoing development of protocols to achieve that objective. 

The letter further sets out the “crucial need” for measures that will provide tapered support for venues which will be “unable to open their doors, or will do so at a loss”.

It also calls upon chancellor Sunak to implement an extended, more flexible furlough scheme to the end of 2020, tapered to encourage people back to work only when it is safe, and gradually, if appropriate.

In addition the associations ask for the removal of the £51,000 rateable value cap on grant eligibility, to open funds up to the 20% of pub and hospitality companies that represent the bulk of trade and employees, Improved accessibility and eligibility to loans to ensure that business can access the necessary funds to survive.

In a jointly issued statement the three associations said: “There are few things more cherished than the British pub. The current crisis casts an existential shadow over the future of these national treasures and we are calling on the chancellor to act, before many of them – and their valuable jobs, social benefits and economic contributions – are lost to us for good.

“We know that pubs, hospitality and brewers can be crucial in driving economic recovery. We thank the chancellor for his support thus far but urge him to enable venues across the country to play their role by opening in a safe fashion, when the time is right.”

They added: “Surviving the crisis can only happen with further support from the government, allowing pubs to not only pull through but deliver future prosperity.”

The news comes as The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has said that its hope for clarity on reopening and extra support for pubs has been “dashed” by Boris Johnson’s announcement.

Its warning comes as research from the BBPA showed that 40% of UK pubs will not survive beyond September without further financial support.

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