12,000 pubs at risk of permanent closure

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: lockdown, Coronavirus, Health and safety, Legislation

Almost a third (31.9%) of England’s pubs will not reopen after the second lockdown is lifted, a trade body has predicted.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is calling for the Government to use the closure period to review the effectiveness and necessity of restrictions after lockdown.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “As our sector enters this second lockdown, we are fearful for the future.

“Sector member research estimates as many as 12,000 pubs are at risk from permanent closure unless the Government provides a longer term support package for the sector.

“Countless breweries and suppliers to pubs are also at very real risk of closing for good due to this second lockdown its longer impact.

“We warmly welcome all the support the Government has given our sector this far through the crisis. From the furlough scheme to grant support, these measures have helped our sector survive so far. We are most grateful for them.”

She went on to say it was clear more support is needed so the trade can get over the hurdle of a second lockdown and the inevitable further hit on consumer confidence.

Review restrictions

McClarkin added: “We also call on the Government to take this time to review the restrictions on the sector within the tiering measures to ensure they are based on evidence, proportionate and necessary.

“We are encouraged to hear from the Prime Minister that the Chancellor will make a further statement on support. We are hoping this will include business grants in line with those he delivered during the first lockdown, that adequately cover ongoing fixed costs. These must be available to all pubs and delivered quickly.

“We [would] also like the Chancellor to recognise the longer term stimulus support we have asked for pubs and breweries. Specifically beer duty cuts, continued VAT reduction and an extension of the business rates holiday. These are critical to enable pubs and brewers to play their vital role in reinvigorating local communities and the national economy.”

Related topics: Legislation

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