In an announcement made today (3 July), the organisation said Simmonds would be leaving the pub trade to take up a position as chairman of the new Betting & Gaming Council, which is a combination of the Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association.
A new leader for the BBPA has yet to be named ahead of Simmonds’s departure on Friday 11 October this year.
Paying tribute to Simmonds’s decade of work for the organisation, BBPA chairman and Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “Brigid has led the organisation with confidence, sharp intellect and humour when needed and has successfully raised the profile of the BBPA and its members with Government, media and other legislative organisations.”
Beer duty campaigns
He continued: “During her tenure, Brigid has led numerous successful campaigns to reduce beer duty and improve access for pubs to business rates relief.
“She has promoted the industry at Westminster and ensured the voice of brewers and licensed retailers has been hear loud and clear.
“Brigid has admirably represented the industry during the pubs code inquiry and played a key role in the recently announced sector deal for tourism.”
Emeny went on to describe Simmonds as a “true force of nature”, saying he felt privileged to have served alongside her.
Defender of British beer
“She is powerful in her arguments, passionate in her defence of great British beer and the British pub, rapier-sharp in negotiating with politicians,” he continued.
“She has been an incredible representative of our sector and I know I speak on behalf of all the BBPA members when I say that the BBPA’s loss is most definitely the gambling industry’s gain.”
During her time with the BBPA, Simmonds has played a part in many legislative battles, where she has defended the pub trade.
She has also been a regular judge at The Morning Advertiser’s many awards, including the Publican Awards and the upcoming Great British Pub Awards, tickets for which are on sale now.