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Liberation Group won’t collect rent during closure period

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Support package: Liberation Group has put together measures in a bid to help tenants
Support package: Liberation Group has put together measures in a bid to help tenants

Related tags: coronavirus

Channel Islands-based pub company Liberation Group has announced it will not collect any rent from its tenants for the duration of the shutdown, to a maximum term of six months.

After this time, the group, which also has Butcombe Pubs in the south-west, will then cancel 50% of the headline rent and has said a further package of bespoke support measures will be available on an individual basis, which could include long-term deferral of the outstanding rent, subject to conditions.

Liberation Group managing director of tenanted pubs Christine Oxford said: “Our industry has been heavily impacted by this enforced closure.

“Our top priority is the wellbeing of our tenants and, subsequently, their team members and customers. I’m confident the support we are offering will help protect them during this challenging time.”

Absolute priority

Liberation Group has 66 pubs in total:

28 in Jersey

13 in Guernsey

3 in Alderney

22 in the UK

She added: “In terms of our tenanted businesses and our relationship with them, our absolute priority is to ensure our tenants not only survive this period of closure but they come through this in a strong position to continue to trade with us in the future.

“With this in mind, we have agreed a significant packaged of support with the Liberation Group board.”

This help is in addition to the Government’s support measures, including a business rates holiday, grants, business interruption loans, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the deferral of VAT payments.

Possible position

Oxford added: “This proposed support package demonstrates our commitment to our tenants and the excellent businesses they run.

“Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to protect them and ensure, once this is all over, they are in the best possible position to run pubs we can all be proud of.”

This comes after it announced like-for-like growth up before Government announced pubs needed to close amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liberation Group is the latest pub company to cancel rent with others including Wells & Co, Robinsons, Shepherd Neame, Palmers Brewery and Hall & Woodhouse.

Related topics: Other operators, UnitedWeStand

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