Pubs Code

Scottish tenant campaigners call for pubs code north of the border

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish campaigners want greater protection for pub tenants
Scottish campaigners want greater protection for pub tenants

Related tags Statutory pubs code Scotland

Pub tenant representatives in Scotland are ramping up the pressure on the Holyrood Government to introduce similar protections enjoyed by their counterparts south of the border.

A week after legislation was passed by Parliament​, which introduced a statutory pubs code and adjudicator, research has been revealed that shows tenanted pubs across Scotland are 62-times more likely to close than their free trade counterparts.

It also shows that 74% of Scottish tied tenants feel worse off as a result of the tie, and almost all (96%) believe that paying a reduced rent didn’t fully take into consideration the extra cost they bear on tied products and services. Virtually all respondents want the same level of protection now in place for tenants in England and Wales.

Furthermore, CGA sales data showed that over the past year free trade revenues for draught beer grew by +6%, whilst lease and tenanted outlets sales declined by -4%.

Campaigners are hoping the research, conducted on behalf of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), will help inform a debate in the Scottish Parliament on 30 April.


Paul Waterson, SLTA chief executive, said: “Campaigners in England and Wales are rightly celebrating – the passing of the Bill is a big, progressive step forward for the licensed trade down south. It will see a freer, fairer industry emerge as a result of the legislation and we're glad that their hard work has paid off.

“In Scotland though, we're still lagging behind. A debate on the issue is currently scheduled for Holyrood at the end of April and, at this, we'd like to see some definitive actions agreed. Our message remains clear - we need parity with the rest of the UK, and we need it fast.”

The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign, which co-ordinated efforts south of the border, is also backing the Scottish drive.

Save the Pub Group chair Greg Mulholland MP said: “Although there are fewer tied pubs in Scotland than in the rest of Britain, it’s still a sizeable amount and the significant impact on those affected tenants should not be ignored.

“We cannot have a situation where tenants in England and Wales have the code and the right to have a market rent free-of-tie agreement yet tenants in Scotland do not.”

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