Longer-term support and review of restrictions needed to save 12,000 pubs

05 November 2020 by
Longer-term support and review of restrictions needed to save 12,000 pubs

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the government to provide more longer-term support to the sector to save as many as 12,000 pubs in England from permanent closure as they enter a second lockdown.

The BBPA has also called for the government to use this time to review the effectiveness and necessity of restrictions after the lockdown.

The House of Commons voted through the legislation yesterday ahead of the second lockdown which started today and runs until 2 December. The chancellor is expected to announce a further package of support for businesses affected today.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive (pictured), said: "As our sector enters this second lockdown, we are fearful for the future. Sector member research estimates as many as 12,000 pubs are at risk from permanent closure unless the government provides a longer-term support package for the sector. Countless breweries and suppliers to pubs are also at very real risk of closing for good due to this second lockdown and its longer impact.

"We warmly welcome all the support the government has given our sector this far through the crisis. From the furlough scheme to grant support, these measures have helped our sector survive so far. We are most grateful for them.

"However, as we enter this second lockdown, it is clear more support is going to be needed so our sector can get over this latest hurdle of a second lockdown and the inevitable further hit on consumer confidence. We also call on the government to take this time to review the restrictions on the sector within the tiering measures to ensure they are based on evidence, proportionate and necessary.

"We are encouraged to hear from the prime minister that the chancellor will make a further statement on support. We are hoping this will include business grants in line with those he delivered during the first lockdown, that adequately cover ongoing fixed costs. These must be available to all pubs and delivered quickly.

"We'll also like the chancellor to recognise the longer-term stimulus support we have asked for pubs and breweries. Specifically beer duty cuts, continued VAT reduction and an extension of the business rates holiday. These are critical to enable pubs and brewers to play their vital role in reinvigorating local communities and the national economy."

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