The Government has pledged to “support” and “strengthen” sectors and trade industries in association with local authorities, areas often regarded as often going unnoticed.
The move comes under a general proposal to boost the UK’s economic growth and productivity.
The document, released yesterday (Monday 23 January), also mentioned the Government’s ongoing plans to devolve business rate revenues to local authorities in England.
‘Great potential for investment’
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “I very much welcome the strategy, and its focus on skills and investment.
“With the right tax policies, particularly a cut in the beer duty and fairer business rates, there is great potential for investment that boosts beer exports, and the pub estate, with huge potential benefits for our tourism industry.”
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls claimed the licensed hospitality sector could play its part in “revitalising” the UK’s economy.
She said: “We hope that much of it can filter through to the licensed hospitality sector, which is an integral part of the UK’s economy.
“The Government has rightly identified the country’s food and drink sector as an important strategic growth champion. It is a sector that has created almost half of all new jobs since the financial crash.”
Role of local authorities
Local authorities will play an important role identifying work and business opportunities that emerge in their area, according to the document.
Nicholls added: “The Government has stated that it is keen to strengthen public institutions and review local authorities and other bodies to support industries.
“Uniformity on licensing across local authorities can help streamline operations for businesses that have multiple sites spread throughout the country.
“If local authorities can work with businesses in the area, and place greater emphasis on collaboration and partnership, pubs and bars can play a crucial role in achieving the Government’s aim of driving growth across the whole country.”
Nicholls also claimed “soft skills” were “essential” to the economy and can ensure employers to find the right staff.
She added: “A strategy that supports burgeoning businesses, provides them with access to finance, and allows them to flourish is crucial.
“Much of this can be achieved by unburdening employers through a rethink of a business rates system that currently penalises success and deters growth.”
A ‘profitable’ export market
Last week, the ALMR and BBPA welcomed Theresa May’s “recognition” of the food and drink industry in her Brexit speech.
May claimed Britain was a “critical” and “profitable” export market that employs “millions” of EU workers.
The Prime Minister also claimed Britain would still be able to trade with Europe, which would allow the UK set trade deals across the world and set competitive tax rates.