Close to 2,000 Welsh pubs to benefit from rates relief scheme

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Rates relief: analysis by the BBPA suggests the high street business rates relief scheme could be worth £4m to pubs
Rates relief: analysis by the BBPA suggests the high street business rates relief scheme could be worth £4m to pubs
The Welsh government has announced that it will invest £23.6m to extend its high street business rates relief scheme in 2019-20.

Some 15,000 businesses, including around 2,000 pubs according to analysis by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), will receive enhanced support to pay their rates bills from April 2019 as a result.

Analysis by the BBPA suggests that rates relief to high street pubs will be worth £4m in total.

Commenting on the new scheme, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “As a judge of this year’s Great British High Street competition, I had the pleasure to visit finalists in both Holywell and Cowbridge; both great examples of what good local partnerships can achieve, but there is so much more that we can do.

“The high street is an important part of any town or city. Of course, pubs are the heart of the community and an important part of the high street offer but, as an industry, they face considerable cost pressures from a range of sources; particularly high beer duty, unfair business rates and VAT.

“These measures by the Welsh Government to not only extend but also increase investment in the high streets relief scheme are most welcome.

“Nearly 2,000 pubs in Wales will benefit from the rates relief with 500 pubs being taken out of business rates altogether.

“For some pubs, it could be the difference between staying open rather than closing their doors for good.” 

Commenting on the announcement of an extension to Welsh business rates support for small businesses, Hospitality Cymru executive director Dave Chapman said: “Business rates represent a massive cost burden on the hospitality sector, which continues to be disproportionately hit, particularly since the last revaluation.

“Wales has a world-renowned hospitality sector, with fantastic venues from Prestatyn to Ogmore-by-Sea, but these venues are being crippled by spiralling cost increases.

“Extending the high street rate relief scheme is a positive first step and the Welsh Government should be applauded for its support.

“But this does very little to support the vast range of hospitality businesses that form the core of Welsh high streets and communities.

“We need more fundamental support for essential hospitality businesses with reform of the rates system in Wales.

“Devolution gives the Welsh government a unique opportunity to create a system fit for the modern economy.

 “We have held positive meetings with the former Cabinet Secretary and his team, and urged them to create a system that supports the Welsh hospitality sector, a major local employer.

“The Welsh government should look at using every weapon in its arsenal to cut disproportionate costs for hospitality businesses that continue to be unfairly hit.”

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