Punch invests £1m in outdoor spaces
The operator of some 1,300 pubs across the UK, Punch has invested £1m in outdoor spaces such as beer gardens, patios and courtyards to support their sites in preparing for outdoor reopening in April.
The success of the scheme will allow many pubs to open outdoors on the 12 April in keeping with the Government’s lockdown roadmap, including a number of sites which previously would have not had the capacity.
In total, 662 Punch pubs in England are poised to welcome guests when outdoor trading is permitted in April.
“Working together with hundreds of our Publicans, we have breathed new life into many of our pub gardens and outdoor spaces,” managing director Andy Spencer said.
“Creating safe, warm, and welcome environments to give our guests fantastic experiences when we reopen and for the future. Like all of our Publicans able to reopen, we are excited to welcome our customers back in April.
“However, it remains vitally important to remember that pubs will be operating at a significantly reduced capacity. We need restrictions to continue to be relaxed during the reopening period to ensure the long-term survival of the Great British Pub”.
How has Covid-19 impacted tenant relationships with their pub company?
With 20 March marking a year-to-the-day since last orders were called in pubs just days before a first national lockdown, The Morning Advertiser (MA) quizzed its readers on how their working relationships have changed in the past 12 months.
When The MA asked what impact the pandemic has had on the working relationship between operators and their pub company or commercial landlord, more than one-in-ten (12%) of respondents stated “very good”, while a quarter (25%) described any change as “good”.
However, 20% of those quizzed stated that the pandemic has, so far, had a “bad” impact on their relationship with their pub company or commercial landlord, with a further 4% claiming the pandemic's effects have been “very bad”.
Iconic ‘illegally destroyed’ pub set to reopen in April
A historic London pub, which was ‘illegally knocked down’ six years ago is planning to reopen this spring.
The Carlton Tavern in Kilburn, north west London, was demolished in 2015. A planning inspector then ruled in favour of Westminster City Council, ordering developers CLTX to rebuild the pub "brick by brick".
The five-day enquiry took place in May 2016, after the developers tried to fight an enforcement order the council originally placed on it to rebuild the pub – with evidence heard from local campaign groups, residents, councillors and Historic England.
Appeal documents submitted to the council by CLTX stated it was not aware they should have sought permission before knocking the building down.
The planning inspector dismissed the appeals lodged by the developers and ruled in favour of the council, giving CLTX two years to rebuild the pub.
Rent moratorium extension ‘only defers the problem’
More than half (53%) of operators quizzed in an industry poll said the Government’s decision to extend the rent eviction ban is of ‘little support’ as simply it postpones the issue.
The Hospitality Leaders Poll, which is conducted by Lumina Intelligence on behalf of The MA, MCA, Big Hospitalityand Restaurant, quizzed 179 operators of which, 34% said the support was not helpful or long enough.
Just over one-in-10 (13%) respondents stated the extension provided a lot of meaningful support and was vital support for their business.
Meanwhile, the survey also asked operators which approaches would solve rent arrears issues. The most popular choice (40%) was for the Government to provide grants for landlords to pay arrears.
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