Star Pubs and Bars is investing a further £19m in lockdown rent concessions for its pubs, to ensure that its venues successfully reopen come 21 June – the predicted date for when hospitality can resume normal trading in England.
As part of the support, the group will extend its 90% rent reduction for pubs on core leased and tenanted agreements in England from 1 March to 16 May.
Then from 17 May and 20 June, when trading restrictions are expected to be lifted, it will offer a further 10% concession, meaning pubs’ rent will average 50% in May.
The decision brings Star Pubs and Bars total investment in rent concessions to £62m since March 2020 – when lockdown restrictions were first implemented in the UK.
In addition to rent relief, Star Pubs and Bars is offering free ‘Covid Safety’ point-of-sale materials, and reopening support “including new training modules, trading insight, and supplier discounts to help licensees make the most of their outdoor space”.
The group, which has 2,500 pubs across the UK, said that rent concessions will also be offered to pubs in Scotland and Wales once there is “clarity from the Scottish and Welsh governments on reopening dates”.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs and Bars, said : “It’s a year since the first lockdown and I’m immensely proud of the resilience our Star colleagues and licensees have shown in the most challenging trading conditions we’ve seen in generations.
“If the government sticks to its reopening roadmap plans, it should be a great summer as research shows the public can’t wait to get back to the pub We’ve invested significantly in rent concessions over the last 12 months to help ensure our pubs are ready and able to re-open to meet this demand.”
He added: “I firmly believe this pandemic will show the true partnership nature of the leased and tenanted model. From my conversations with our licensees, I know the vast majority have appreciated the support we’ve provided.”