News

Twitter updates


  • No trade-off needed between pubs and schools 

    05 August 2020

    BBPA says Government is not considering national closure of pubs to reopen schools, and reiterates that social distancing measures in pubs means they are safe to remain open The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today refuted claims that a trade-off is needed between pubs and schools, to enable schools to re-open in September. The trade association has said that the Government has made it clear it does not need to nationally close pubs to re-open schools, but that it may limit social contact in some parts of the country to enable schools to reopen. The British Beer & Pub Association has also reiterated the guidelines and mitigation measures pubs across the whole of the UK have put in place to keep staff and customers safe. Across the sector, pubs have invested significant work, time and money to ensure they provide a safe environment. No pub has been able to reopen without doing a rigorous risk assessment and implementing measures to keep customers and staff safe. This includes putting up screens, enhancing hygiene measures and offering table service. Pubs have also been commended by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP and Public Health England for their diligence and proactivity in working with NHS Track & Trace.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “There is no evidence of the efficacy of a trade-off between pubs and schools. The Government has made it clear it is not considering the national closure of pubs to reopen schools. It has said it may limit social contact in localities to enable schools to reopen. “It is important to remember that pubs have been open in England for a month now after investing significant work, time and money to ensure they are a safe environment. No pub can reopen without doing a risk assessment and implementing measures to ensure staff and customers are safe. Pubs have been commended by Matt Hancock and Public Health England for their diligence and proactivity in working with NHS Trace & Trace. “We are all working hard to restrict the transmission of the virus but careless talk and groundless speculation costs pubs and pub jobs. Our sector is desperately trying to recover and provide a much-needed hub for communities across the UK during these challenging times.”

    Read more
  • More than a third of pubs cannot break even one month after reopening

    04 August 2020

    British Beer & Pub Association calls for continued support for sector to ensure full recovery The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed that over a third of pubs in the UK (37%) cannot break even one month after reopening. The finding, from a survey of the BBPA’s members, comes exactly a month after pubs in England reopened on July 4th for the first time after the COVID-19 lockdown. In the same survey, 25% of brewing and pub sector businesses said they didn’t feel their business was sustainable beyond the end of March 2021 at present. Pubs reopened on 4th July in England, followed by staggered openings elsewhere in the UK. Since reopening, pubs across the whole of the UK have had to implement mitigation measures and follow Government guidelines to ensure they keep customers and staff safe. This includes “one metre plus” social distancing in all pubs, as well as putting other measures in place such as table service, seating only, one way systems and dividing screens. The measures mean that pubs have less capacity to serve customers. Likewise, consumer confidence to go out and visit pubs is still returning. According to the BBPA, this is impacting the viability of reopened pubs, particularly in city centre locations, where many offices remain closed meaning even greater reduced footfall. The BBPA has welcomed initiatives such as the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and the VAT cut to food and accommodation in hospitality and pubs to help boost the sector, which it hopes will have a positive impact on pub sales in August. However, it says further support is still needed for the pub and brewing sector in the medium and longer term to enable them to fully recover. It also says the Government needs to play its part in helping build public confidence to go out and visit pubs and hospitality again, with consistent and positive messaging about their reopening. In particular, the trade association says more support is needed for community pubs who tend to only sell drinks or small food items, and so are less likely to benefit from VAT cuts to food and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. It says the Government should cut beer duty by 25%, cut VAT on beer served in pubs and fundamentally reform business rates to enable the beer and pub sector to fully recover and help grow the economy once more. According to the trade association, such measures would be needed to get pubs through this quieter period and into the new year.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “One month after they were able to reopen in England, over a third of pubs are struggling to break even or turn a profit. This is inevitably due to lower consumer confidence and reduced capacity for pubs. “We fully support the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and the temporary VAT cut to food and accommodation in pubs and hope they will help boost pub sales. “However, to ensure the full recovery of our sector, including Britain’s world class brewers and pubs at the heart of communities across the UK, we need the Government to increase its support. “£1 in every £3 spent in a pub goes to the taxman and now is the time to reinvest that money in our brewers and pubs. That means cutting beer duty by 25%, as well as making the VAT cut permanent and extending it to beer in pubs to bring the cost of a pint down and unlock investment. “Fundamental reform is also needed of the business rates system – pubs pay 2.8% of the business rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. "Crucially, the Government must play a leading role in building public confidence to go out and visit pubs again, by delivering consistent and positive messages about their reopening. “Our sector is a resilient one, and 75% of brewing and pub businesses say they are sustainable at present, but that still leaves 25% that are struggling and it would be catastrophic for our culture and economy if they are denied the support they need. “Now is the time to recognise and invest in our pubs and brewers to secure them for future generations and to enable growth.”

    Read more
  • BBPA urges Government to keep £1 billion in grant scheme funding open to save pubs and jobs

    03 August 2020

    Trade association backs Local Government Association call for continued grant support for businesses damaged by lockdown The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today backed calls from the Local Government Association to ringfence £1 billion in grant funding that would otherwise be clawed back by Government, to continue to help support pubs and other businesses severely affected by the lockdown. According to the Local Government Association, the Government has written to councils to say it will shut three funding schemes – the Small Business Grants Fund, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund and the Discretionary Grants Fund – on August 28th, with any unclaimed funds returning to the Government. It estimates that over £1 billion in grant scheme funding will be lost. The BBPA is therefore backing the Local Government Association’s call for Government to keep funding available so councils can redistribute any unspent resources to reinvest and support businesses and local economies through this crisis. Although pubs were allowed to reopen in England from the 4th of July, they have had to operate with severely reduced capacities and therefore income since then. According to the BBPA, such a measure would enable councils to continue supporting pubs and other businesses severely damaged by the lockdown, particularly those such as pubs with a rateable value above £51,000 who were not eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Our sector may have reopened, but it is far from out the woods yet. Our pubs still need all the support they can get and many are still waiting on it, so withdrawing £1 billion in possible funding is short-sighted to say the least. “The Government should be focused on supporting business like pubs that can help the economies of local communities grow, not withdrawing vital funding at a time businesses across the UK need it most. “Some 10,000 pubs were unable to benefit from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund as their business rates were too high. Rather than clawing back this money, it’s a no brainer to use it to help those businesses that have either fallen through the cracks or are continuing to struggle.”

    Read more
  • Welsh Government finally announces that pubs in Wales can fully reopen 

    31 July 2020

    All pubs across the UK can now reopen and get back to business, helping sector on road to recovery, says BBPA The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the Welsh Government finally confirming that all pubs can reopen in Wales, both indoors and outdoors. In an announcement today, the First Minister said that pubs in Wales would be able to reopen indoors from August 3rd. Previously, pubs in Wales could only reopen to serve outdoors, making it the last part of the UK where pubs couldn’t open indoors, stopping them from fully reopening properly. The trade association said that pubs in Wales had been struggling as they had been forced to remain closed for longer by the Welsh Government than other parts of the UK, being able to reopen from 13th July but outdoors only, which for many Welsh pubs was not a viable option. It said it hoped the decision announced today wasn’t too late in avoiding mass closures of pubs in Wales, and that it would hopefully enable Welsh pubs to use some of the Summer to rebuild their trade and start to recover. For many pubs, the summer trade is crucial to see them through leaner winter months. The trade association said pubs in Wales would need continued support from the Government, as will pubs across the whole of the UK, to help them get back to business and participate in the economic recovery of the UK.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “It’s fantastic news that pubs in Wales can fully reopen from August 3rd. The announcement today means all pubs across the whole of the UK can now fully reopen and get back to business. “This is a moment of excitement and relief for our sector in what has been a very difficult period. We only hope the decision by the Welsh Government hasn’t come too late in avoiding mass closures of pubs in Wales, as they are the last to fully reopen anywhere in the UK - and quite a bit behind other pubs too. “Pubs in Wales will now be looking to make the most of the Summer to get back to business and rebuild their trade. Obviously continued support from Government for pubs and brewers across the UK, including those in Wales, is still going to be needed in the short and medium term. Such support will help ensure our pubs get back on their feet properly and play the leading role they can in our economic recovery. “Our members look forward to welcoming back their customers and tourists and rebuilding their trade.”

    Read more
  • BBPA repeats call for Government to cut VAT on beer in pubs, as European Commission gives the green light   

    30 July 2020

    Trade association says move would help boost drinks led community pubs who are less likely to benefit from VAT cut to food and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme     The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today urged the UK Government to extend its VAT cut on food in pubs to include beer as well.    The trade association has made the plea as the European Commission confirmed that within the EU’s VAT Directives, Member States can apply targeted reductions on VAT for drinks, including beer served in the hospitality sector.     According to the BBPA, the UK Government should follow the lead of Italy, Spain and other European nations in extending its VAT cut for food and accommodation in hospitality to beer served in pubs. This would help boost drinks led community pubs who are less likely to serve food and so receive less benefit from VAT cuts to it and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which also does not extend to alcoholic drinks.    While the trade association says it fully supports the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and has been encouraging its members and the wider industry to sign-up to the scheme to give them a much needed boost, extending the Government’s VAT cut to beer sold in pubs would greatly support brewers and community pubs – among the worst affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.     Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:     “We welcome confirmation from the European Commission that VAT can be reduced on beer served in pubs and urge the UK Government to do so, as it has done for food and accommodation already.    “The cuts to VAT on food and accommodation, and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, have been welcomed by our sector, and we continue to support and promote them. For community led pubs that don’t do food, and brewers, more support can and should be given.     “We urge the Government to extend its VAT cut on food and accommodation in pubs to include beer as well. Such a move will greatly support our world class brewers and community pubs across the UK that need and are deserving of more support.” 

    Read more
  • Mandatory calorie labelling would harm pubs and brewers as they begin to recover from COVID-19 

    27 July 2020

    BBPA responds to Government’s new obesity strategy      The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the launch of the Government’s new obesity strategy.    As part of the new strategy, the Government has said it will require large restaurants, which would include managed pubs operated by companies with more than 250 employees, to include calorie information on their food menus. It will also encourage smaller businesses to voluntarily provide calorie information and will consider making them display calories in the future.     The BBPA, whilst welcoming the initial exemption for very small pub businesses, says such measures would be extremely costly for those pub businesses employing more than 250 employees at a time when they are recovering from COVID-19 and could also lead to restricted choice for consumers. Extending mandatory calorie labelling to smaller pubs would disproportionately affect them and their suppliers, and many local, community pubs could struggle to implement changes, it says.    The Government has also announced it will launch a new consultation on alcohol calorie labelling as part of the new strategy. The consultation is to take place before the end of the year and will cover calorie labelling on drinks sold in pubs, including draught beer. The BBPA says such burdensome red tape would further hinder brewers and pubs when they are trying to get back on their feet post COVID-19 lockdown and already operating under unusual circumstances with social distancing in place. It says that many UK brewers have already committed to voluntarily providing calorie information on their labels.      Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:    “Forcing pubs to display calorie content will likely reduce the food offer available to customers. It will be prohibitively expensive for pubs to implement, especially when they have had nearly four months without trade due to the lockdown.     “In many cases UK brewers are already responding to consumer demand for calorie information and across the EU have voluntarily committed to providing the information on labels. There are also a variety of online resources available to help consumers understand calorie information for beer. Making calorie labelling mandatory for all beer, including draught beer, is unnecessary and burdensome at a time where many smaller brewers are struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.    “As our sector recovers now is not the time for burdensome red tape and we would urge the Government to look at more collaborative ways to work with our sector instead, including promoting the growing range of low and no alcohol beers. We are keen to support the Government on tackling obesity and want to work with them to help them achieve the strategy’s aims in a practical manner.”

    Read more
>

Find a news story

Filters