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  • Pubs to give £70 million boost to the taxman from royal wedding

    22 May 2018

    The Chancellor will be saying ‘cheers’ to the Great British pub this week, with pubs estimated to have given a £70 million windfall to the Treasury from successful trading over the royal wedding weekend. With licensing hours for Friday 18thMay and Saturday 19thMay extended by two hours from 11pm to 1am for the royal wedding, along with the FA Cup final taking place on Saturday evening, an extra £20 million is expected to have been spent in pubs across the nation on ‘Super Saturday’ alone. Beer and food are believed to have benefited most from the bumper weekend, with food sales predicted to have increased by 8% - generating £16 million for the Treasury through VAT - and beer sales predicted to have increased by 5%, resulting in over 100 million pints being poured over the weekend, generating £54 million for the taxman through duty and VAT. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds OBE comments: “The royal wedding was a fantastic spectacle with the Great British pub providing the perfect place for the nation to celebrate. The relaxed licensing hours were welcomed by pubgoers looking to make the most of the historic occasion, whilst providing a real boost to the pub trade. Given that a third of the price of a pint in a pub goes straight to the taxman, the Chancellor will also be celebrating.” Daniel Park, General Manager of The Duchess of Cambridge, Windsor, comments: “The royal wedding was an exceptional event with both tourists and locals alike coming to enjoy the occasion in our pub. Thanks to the extended hours and good weather it was also a record breaking day of sales for us. In the six years I’ve run the pub I’ve never known it be so busy!” Lucy Longworth, General Manager of The Lifeboat Inn, St Ives, comments: “We had a really good turnout for Meghan and Harry’s wedding, with tables full throughout the day. We showed the wedding from 10am, followed by football at 5pm and then had a band to celebrate the wedding from 9pm. Many people stayed on for all three events which was great. Our bar sales increased by 50% on the previous Saturday.”

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  • Pubs prepare for royal wedding bonanza as patriotic punters get ready to celebrate in style

    18 May 2018

    As the nation awaits the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Great British pub is readying itself for a bumper weekend as people look to celebrate the royal wedding in true British fashion – at their local. With licensing hours for Friday 18thMay and Saturday 19thMay extended by two hours from 11pm to 1am for the royal wedding, along with the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United taking place on Saturday evening, an extra £20 million is expected to be spent in pubs across Great Britain, which many are billing as ‘Super Saturday’. Beer and food are expected to benefit most from the royal wedding fever and FA Cup final, with food sales predicted to increase by 8%, closely followed by beer at 5%. During the weekend, over 100 million pints are expected to be sold. To celebrate the occasion, hundreds of pubs from across the country have come up with creative and quirky ways to ensure that royal wedding revelers get the very best experience from the day. For example, pubs like The Swan, located in Hyde Park, will be hosting a wedding high tea with cupcakes, chocolates and a photo shoot from the balcony. For those in the Stockport, the aptly named Windsor Castle will be opening its doors to the public for a royal weekend of events, including a raffle, afternoon tea and a ‘Royal Curry’. Beer connoisseurs will also be spoilt for choice over the weekend with a wide range of tailor made beers on offer, which have been brewed to give Harry and Meghan a proper ‘cheers’ to their marriage: Surrey brewery Hogs Back has brewed ‘Hoppy ever after’, a golden beer with refreshing citrus notes made with the perfect marriage of American centennial and English cascade hops Oxford’s Brakspear Brewery has brewed ‘Hooray Harry’, a limited edition 4.1% ABV ale, made from a blend of British and American hops, which has proved so popular it has already sold out! The Channel Islands’ Liberation Brewery has launched ‘Meghan’s Sparkle’, a 4% ABV session ale created from the marriage of British and American hops, with a hint of ginger Fans of TV series Suits may want to try Wadworth’s ‘Suits You Sir’, a ‘ginger’ hued ale with American hops and British malt creating a light and refreshing ale McMullen’s has also brewed ‘Best of Both Worlds’ to celebrate the day, which will be exclusively available at The Duchess of Cambridge pub in Windsor BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds OBE commented: “A royal wedding is a fantastic celebration and the perfect opportunity for both the nation and tourists to get together in the Great British pub. With extended hours, promising weather and plenty of pubs putting on events to make the most of the wedding, what better place is there to celebrate than at the Great British pub?”

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  • BBPA produces new guidance for pubs as four week countdown to Russia 2018 begins

    17 May 2018

    With only four weeks to go until Russia 2018 kicks off, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has produced definitive guidance for pubs to help ensure that this year’s FIFA World Cup screenings are a success. The new advice has been developed with the support of the Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). Live sport is a hugely important part of the pub experience and the World Cup is a major opportunity to attract customers who want to watch live matches with a great atmosphere. The guidance is intended as a template for pubs, local authorities and police to work together to ensure that the FIFA World Cup is an enjoyable occasion for all. It provides a handy checklist for licensees to run through in making sure all angles are covered for busy and successful screenings. Advice for pubs includes contacting the police and licensing officers to let them know plans for showing FIFA World Cup events, making public transport information readily available to assist customers in leaving venues safely, and being vigilante for suspicious behavior or anything that seems out of place or unusual. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “Pubs are the home of live sport and will be at the heart of the World Cup for those fans who won’t be making it to Russia. This new BBPA guidance has been designed to help pubs have a successful tournament by working closely with their local authorities to ensure as many people as possible choose to enjoy the football at their local.” A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council commented: “We welcome the guidance published by the BBPA and hope that premises adopt the good practice it contains, this will help ensure that all those who wish to watch the World Cup in Pubs, Bars and Clubs can do so in as safe an environment as possible.” BBPA World Cup Guidance for licensees 2018

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  • BBPA comments on Government response to consultation on Gaming Machines

    17 May 2018

    Commenting on the Government response to the consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), commented:   “The BBPA is disappointed that no changes have been made in particular to the stake for Category C machines - we had asked for an increase from £1 to £2 in the stake to allow innovation in the 50,000 machines in pubs for customers who enjoy playing these low stake and low prize machines. We understand however that the focus of this review was on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and will work with the Government to ensure that our Social Responsibility Codes are robust.  “There is a real need for a clearer focus on deregulation to reduce the burden on pubs. The costs to small business under the current regulations for gaming machines are too high. In the coming months we will encourage Government to look at some of these issues more closely. The bureaucratic requirements for regular notification to local authorities on the mix of machines and change of licensee are costly, archaic and in need of review.”

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  • BBPA calls for clarity on descriptors used for low-strength alcoholic drinks

    11 May 2018

    In response to the consultation from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has called on the Government to revise how low and non-alcoholic drinks are described. BBPA is also calling for changes to the Advertising Standards Agency rules (ASA) to allow wider promotion of low-strength drinks. In its response to the DHSC Consultation on Low Alcohol Descriptors, the BBPA has called on DHSC to change the definition of ‘Alcohol Free’ from 0.05% ABV to 0.5% ABV, to bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, which would improve consistency of labelling of such products across the EU, as well as other global markets.  The BBPA has called for ‘low-strength’ alcohol to be defined as between 0.5% ABV and 1.2% ABV. There is clear evidence from the latest Drinkaware research that a significant proportion of consumers seek out lower strength options as a way of moderating their alcohol consumption. A decision by the Australian Government to introduce tax reductions for ‘lighter’ beer of 3.5% ABV or below has led to growth of such beers to occupy 25% of the market.  BBPA would like to see a similar ‘lighter’ or mid-strength definition for beers between 1.2% ABV and 3.5% ABV. Consumers are more receptive of beer at this strength and greater consumer acceptance would act as an incentive for significant investment and innovation in the category. A definition at 3.5% ABV would also be consistent with UK Government support for an increase in the current EU excise duty thresholds from 2.8% ABV to 3.5% ABV. As part of changes to the UK definition for low strength drinks, the BBPA has also called for changes to the ASA’s advertising rules to allow the promotion of low strength beer. The BBPA supports the proposal by DHSC to control the use of low strength descriptors through guidance, rather than in legislation from December 2018. Such guidance requires flexibility and must ensure that labelling terms are positive and are used consistently. The BBPA is aware that DHSC has been considering low alcohol descriptors for some time and as part of its response, the BBPA has emphasised the urgent need for a decision to be made quickly to minimise costs and ensure that businesses have sufficient time to prepare for any changes as a consequence of the review. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “There is plenty of evidence that moderate drinking brings health benefits, and beer, as a generally low strength form of alcohol, is a great way to enjoy sensible drinking and support your local pub. “Our proposed changes could further boost the huge amount of investment and innovation in the industry for low and no alcohol beers­­­­.” https://beerandpub.com/final-dhsc-low-alcohol-descriptors-low-alcohol-response-may-2018/

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  • BBPA welcomes proposed changes to National Planning Policy Framework

    11 May 2018

    The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has responded to the consultation on the proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The BBPA has welcomed the proposed revisions to the NPPF including: The inclusion of the Agent of Change principle; Support for the rural economy and promotion of sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments; The retention of accessible local services and community facilities such as public houses; The inclusion of strong guidance around tourism developments in rural areas. However, the BBPA has called for more flexibility in town centre developments and requested for a specific link to the Good Practice Guide on Planning for Tourism. Planning authorities should also be encouraged to think more broadly about the composition of town centres where retail needs are changing The BBPA has welcomed the inclusion of the Agent of Change principle which requires developers to install noise insulation into new developments which are adjacent to existing or new pubs and music venues, however the BBPA has called for a specific link to the Agent of Change Principle in the new guidance. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “I warmly welcome the proposed changes to the NPPF in relation to pubs, I am pleased to see the government giving further consideration to rural tourism and leisure. The inclusion of the Agent of Change principle will be in vital in protecting pubs.”

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