The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) stated while it welcomed continued support for the sector in the Budget, which included £2bn worth of measures such as grants and furlough support, it called for longer-term investment in the industry was still needed.
It went on to urged the Government to provide further support for wet-led pubs, who are unable to benefit from the VAT reduction.
Year to forget
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Our sector has been devastated by Covid-19 and the lockdowns. It has been a year to forget for the great British pub.
“It is estimated 2,000 pubs have been lost forever. Some 2.1bn pints in beer sales have also been missed, wiping out £8.2bn in trade value from the sector.
“Sadly, we still haven’t seen the full extend of the damage yet and won’t do for some time, until things really do go back to normal. Any by normal, I mean a return to what life was like pre-Covid.”
Need to full reopen
Community wet-led pubs have been among the worst affected by the pandemic, meaning the Government should go further in support for them, McClarkin said.
She added: “While we continue to assess the full damage to our sector, I urge the Government to look at providing more support for our wet-led community pubs who, although grateful for all the support they received in the Budget, will not benefit from the VAT cut to food in the same way restaurants will.
“It is becoming all the more clear the Government must ensure all our pubs are fully reopened on 21 June, as indicated in the roadmap. This is when their recovery will really start and until then, we stand to lose more pubs and community assets.”