Companies representing hundreds of Welsh pubs and brewers, alongside the Welsh Beer and Pub Association (WBPA), have written to the newly re-elected first minister Mark Drakeford urging him to deliver grants for pubs and a roadmap ahead of re-opening.
In a letter to Drakeford, the group stated that although it is “positive” some elements of hospitality have re-opened already in Wales, roughly half of pubs have remained closed due to a lack of usable outside space.
In addition, the letter said that although grant funding provided by the Welsh government over the last year has saved many businesses and jobs from “being lost forever”, the lack of restart grants in Wales compared to England and Scotland has “severely damaged” the reopening of pubs in Wales.
The letter now urges the first minister to:
- Deliver restart grants immediately to Welsh hospitality businesses who have been closed or faced restrictions considerably longer than those in England and Scotland
- Confirm the 17 May as the date for indoor hospitality reopening, alongside a commitment to retaining the rule of six for up to six households indoors
- Set a clear timeline and roadmap for the removal of all trading restrictions and restrictions on social contact
Emma McClarkin, CEO of the WBPA, said: “Over the last year, Welsh pubs and brewers have faced the biggest threat to their existence in our history. Billions in trade has been lost and worse, countless livelihoods and community hubs have fallen by the wayside.
“As we face what we hope is the final hurdle of this crisis, we urge the First Minister to take the action required in the early days of his new administration to set our pubs and brewers on the right track for recovery.”