BBPA responds to Chancellor’s Budget worth over £1.5 billion for brewers and pubs Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of continued support for the devastated pub sector in the form of additional grants, as well as extensions to the job retention scheme, 5% hospitality VAT rate and business rates holiday. “The new grants are worth £400 million for pubs and will go some way in helping many of them survive through to the time when they can reopen and operate viably. It is, however, crucial that the Government ensures all pubs benefit, including those that are part of a group, by removing the current State Aid cap. “The extension of the job retention scheme until September will help save thousands of pub jobs. Worth £700 million to our pubs and brewers, it gives the sector time to reopen and rebuild trade before bringing all staff back, which would otherwise be too costly and unviable whilst still facing trading restrictions until end of June. “It is imperative that the Government allows pubs to operate without restrictions as planned from 21st June. This will give them the best chance to get back on their feet and serve their communities. “Extending the 5% VAT hospitality rate until September and at 12.5% thereafter is most welcome. We calculate it is worth £485 million to pubs. With all pubs having been closed for so long, the lower VAT rate has been of limited benefit so far, tens of thousands of pubs will not benefit from this until they reopen on 17th May at the earliest and then still at reduced capacity. However, wet led pubs will be especially disappointed again that the reduction will not apply to all beverages so they too can benefit from this. “We campaigned hard for an extension of the business rates holiday and the Chancellor announced a 100% cut on rates until June and up to a 66% cut for the following 9 months. This is good news, but the proposed cap will mean many pub businesses will not benefit fully from this. We await to see more detail. “Having called for a cut in beer duty and being a staunch supporter of the Long Live The Local campaign, a beer duty freeze will be seen as much needed short-term relief for the sector. However, the Chancellor has only partially listened to the 500,000 campaign supporters who signed the petition calling for a cut in beer duty. We now hope the Government will use the ongoing Alcohol Duty Review to cut beer duty to support our brewers and pubs and level the playing field with other brewing nations. The Government must support and promote Britain’s extraordinary pub and brewing sector in the way other Government’s support their domestic industries. “Overall, this is a good Budget for pubs and breweries in the short term, reflecting just how vital they are to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our communities. “However, this is just the start of the journey on the hard road to long-term recovery for our sector. The Chancellor has made it clear today he recognises the vital role local pubs play in their communities. Now he must continue that commitment by ensuring Britain’s pubs and breweries are supported in the long term. This should start by extending the VAT cut on hospitality to all drinks until at least the end of the year. We also need a fundamental reform of VAT, business rates and beer duty to ensure that the thousands of pubs and breweries across the UK can thrive and help drive the social and economic recovery we urgently need.”
New association will work with BBPA, Welsh Government and UK Government A new trade association has been launched today, on St David’s Day, to promote brewers and pub operators in Wales. The Welsh Beer & Pub Association will represent the wide range of beer and pub businesses in Wales, campaigning for policy outcomes that help protect and grow the sector. It will work alongside the British Beer & Pub Association, the Welsh Government, the Senedd and UK Government to achieve these outcomes. There are over 3,000 pubs in Wales and approximately 120 breweries, with the overall Welsh beer and pub sector supporting 42,000 jobs and contributing nearly £1bn in Gross Value Added to the economy. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the newly formed Welsh Beer & Pub Association, said: “With over 3,000 pubs and 120 breweries, Wales is a vital hub for our sector. In recognition of this, we are proud to launch the Welsh Beer & Pub Association – a body solely aimed at promoting Welsh brewers and pub operators and given them a much-heard voice with both the Wales Government and UK Government. “Given that today is St David’s Day, it could not be a better day to launch this important new trade association. I urge pubs and brewers who feel they need a voice to get in touch to find out how we can help them.” Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, who own 26 community pubs in Wales and Chairman of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association: “Pubs and the brewing industry have been at the heart of Welsh communities for centuries. As a Welshman born and bred, I’m proud to stand alongside my industry colleagues as part of the WBPA, to promote the beer and pub sector in Wales. The people of Wales are proud of their heritage and pubs are part of the social fabric that makes Wales such a great place to live and work.” Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: "The brewing and pub sector is a vital contributor to Welsh communities as well as for the Welsh economy. The last 12 months have been uniquely challenging for hospitality and their supply chains and for that reason I have valued the positive working relationship that has been developed with the industry. I look forward building on the constructive discussions we have had over the course of the pandemic, and to working with the Welsh Beer and Pub Association as the sector begins its journey along the road to recovery." Jack Sergeant MS, Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Beer and Pubs, said: “I know the huge role the brewing and pubs sector plays in our communities and its importance to the Welsh economy. The launch of the Association is brilliant news and I look forward to working closely with them to secure a bright future for pubs across Wales as we look to rebuild post-Covid.”
BBPA responds to speculation that service outdoors will be permitted from April, urges Government to fully re-open pubs – inside and outside – with non-essential retail The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed that it believes 29,000 pubs – 60% of all pubs in the UK – will still remain closed if outdoor service is permitted at pubs from April. The trade association says this is because the majority of pubs in the UK do not have a big enough garden or outdoor space to re-open and serve customers without opening indoors too. The figures come as speculation and reporting suggests that outdoor service could be permitted in hospitality venues from April. The BBPA says that as this is unfeasible for the majority of pubs and that pubs should be allowed to re-open fully, outside and inside, when non-essential retail also opens. It says around 75% of UK pubs have a beer garden or outdoor space, but that only 40% of pubs are likely to have a beer garden or outdoor space big enough. Even then, if many with big enough outdoor spaces did open, they could still struggle to break even as they would still have vastly reduced capacity and significant practical challenges such as the April weather to deal with. It would mean that if pubs did open outdoors only in April, just 17% of UK pub capacity (both indoor and outdoor) would be opened. This would result in a loss of turnover to the sector of £1.5 billion when compared to trading in normal times. Because of this, the Government would need to continue grant support to all those pubs unable to open at all or who can partially open, but with vastly reduced trade. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Let us be clear, outdoor service at pubs is not the same as properly opening pubs both inside and outside and is not commercially viable. “By our numbers, 29,000 pubs would still be forced to stay shut in April because they simply do not have the beer garden or outdoor space to do it. “If pubs do open outdoors only in April – we believe just 17% of UK pub capacity will actually open. This would result in a loss of turnover to the sector of £1.5 billion when compared to trading in normal times. That is far from reopening and recovering. “Even if some pubs did try and open outdoors only in April, all it would take is some heavy rain and they would find it has all been for nothing. “For many pubs, gardens are at the back and the only way to access them is through the inside. And of course, toilet facilities would still need to be provided. “We question the Government’s thinking behind this and suggest they consult with us as a sector on it. “We urge the Government to open our pubs inside – and outside – when non-essential retail also opens. By then, the vaccine will have been rolled out to millions more, and pubs can open whilst continuing to follow exemplary hygiene measures, world leading standards in guidance and social distancing. “Until then, the Government must do all it can to support our sector until it opens to trade properly in the upcoming Budget.”
We champion issues that matter to the beer and pub industry. These are causes our members are passionate about; whether it’s promoting beer as the nation’s drink, or campaigning against increases to beer duty and businesses rates that are so damaging to community pubs.