Star Pubs & Bars scraps rent for pubs facing tier three measures

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Urgent financial assistance: 'our new three-tier rent reduction programme is designed to give them the support, clarity and reassurance they need,' Star Pubs & Bars' Lawson Mountstevens said.
Urgent financial assistance: 'our new three-tier rent reduction programme is designed to give them the support, clarity and reassurance they need,' Star Pubs & Bars' Lawson Mountstevens said.

Related tags: Star pubs & bars, Heineken, Tenanted + leased, Pubco + head office, Finance

Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, has said pubs in areas restricted by the Government’s ‘very high’ alert level will not have to pay rent.

Additionally, the operator of approximately 1,900 pubs will also offer sites in the Government’s “high” alert tier a 90% rent reduction. 

Pubs facing tier one, or “medium” alert level restrictions will continue to receive a rent reduction of 30% to 50% in November, as previously announced.

This week the Prime Minister announced Liverpool as the first area of the country subject to “very high” lockdown measures​ and enforced pub and bar closures – except where serving substantial meals. According to figures from the Altus Group, the area is home to 1,173 pubs.

What’s more, hard-hit areas including North Tyneside, Newcastle, Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Northumberland and London will face second tier, “high”, restrictions meaning that venues can stay open subject to the 10pm curfew.

First tier, “medium”, measures – the baseline restrictions in place across England including the 10pm curfew and “rule of six” – will apply to areas with the lowest rates of infection.

Star also revealed that similar rent reductions will be applied in In Scotland and Wales according to local lockdown restrictions, which have already seen pubs in five Scottish health board areas​ – including Glasgow and Edinburgh – forced to close for a 16-day period from 9 October.

Months of uncertainty

The operator’s latest announcement comes just days after it extended rent concessions for its leased and tenanted pubs throughout November at a cost to the company of £2.8m – an investment its total rent concession spend since pubs closed their doors at the end of March to £27.8m​.

“It’s an extremely challenging time for licensees who’ve been through months of uncertainty and constantly changing Government rules and regulations,” Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director said.

“Our new three-tier rent reduction programme is designed to give them the support, clarity and reassurance they need.

“The latest local lockdown restrictions will have a devastating impact not just on pubs but on the communities they serve. 

“The Government must step up and do more to help. Additional financial assistance and a rethink of the 10pm curfew are urgently required.”

Its latest concessions come despite the pubs code adjudicator fining Star Pubs & Bars £2m​ for “seriously and repeatedly” breaching the pubs code over nearly three years – a charge the operator is “actively considering” appealing.

Related topics: Star Pubs & Bars

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