JW Lees family members step down
According to reports by The Morning Advertiser’s sister title MCA Insight, north west-based brewer and pub operator JW Lees has appointed a new chairman to take over from Richard Lees-Jones.
While Christopher Lees-Jones will also step down as vice-chairman, William Lees-Jones will remain as managing director, alongside new chairman Jim Tully.
The departing pair have devoted a combined 124 years to the family brewery and pub operator but will remain directors.
A corporate solicitor, Tully became an advisor to JW Lees’ management board in June 2019 and has been a non-executive director since April.
Former Liberation Group MD launches business solutions consultancy
The former managing director of Channel Island-based Liberation Group & Butcombe Brewery, Christine Oxford, has launched an independent support service for businesses.
Having previously worked in property operations at Admiral Taverns, Punch and Liberation, Oxford hopes to help firms turn strategy into operational guidance, manage cash flow and navigate their way through what could be a critical time for the hospitality sector.
“I know there is a need for this support, I am already working with some very creative business founders who are now finding themselves in that lonely place of making decisions without the usual support around them,” she said of the launch.
“They are looking for a trusted and independent view, who can offer assurance that can make the difference. My job is to bring a calm and an informed approach to what can feel like an overwhelming decision process. Creating solutions that focus people on the main priorities and instigate longer term plans.
“The most important time is now, the real risk starts as businesses are opening, trying to trade at levels that may or may not be profitable,” she continued. “This compounded by the Government’s timeline to remove support and some landlords expecting repayment of back rent arrears will place business in a very precarious position.
“I hope to offer those businesses my knowledge and expertise to help them leverage the value now, this may be as an ongoing consultant, a freelance project or interim role but as a cost-effective way without the risk of the costs involved with employing my expertise full time.”
Everards announces £40,000 Community Excellence Fund
Leicestershire-based family brewer and pub operator, Everards, has announced that – with the support of The Everard Family Foundation and Carling – £40,000 has been made available to fund nominated community projects within a 20-mile radius of an Everards pub.
Previous funding has helped to set up a number of brand-new community groups, replace ageing chairs in a village hall, install a fire door at a library, buy a wheelchair for a basketball club and support a local trust who provide canal boat trips for the elderly and vulnerable, to name a few.
With nominations open between Monday 5 and Friday 30 April, communities will have the chance to bid for a share of the £40,000 pot.
Everards own more than 175 pubs across the East Midlands.
UKHospitality Scotland appoints new executive director
Leon Thompson will replace Willie Macleod as executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, according to MCA Insight.
Thompson will succeed the retiring Macleod on Tuesday 4 May after more than eight years leading VisitScotland’s policy agenda.
Discussing the appointment, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, said Thompson offered both expertise and an abundance of political nous having worked with Scotland’s policymakers.
“He knows the sector inside out and has done brilliant work in positioning Scotland as a world-class tourist destination,” she said.
More than a third of Brits think unvaccinated bar staff shouldn't return to work
A poll by global intelligence platform Streetbees has revealed that 45% of Brits believe that hospitality staff should be allowed to return to work if they haven’t received a Covid-19 vaccine – compared to 38% who think they shouldn’t.
As per the Government’s post-lockdown roadmap, venues including pubs will be permitted to reopen outdoor trading areas from Monday 12 April before welcoming customers indoors from Monday 17 May.
However, while more than 30m people in the UK have received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the Government races to offer a first dose to all over-50s by Thursday 15 April, it is estimated that younger Brits – who make up a sizeable portion of the hospitality sector workforce – will have to wait until the summer to be offered a jab.
With this in mind, 55% of those aged 26 to 35 agree staff should be allowed to return to work if they haven’t received a vaccine – compared to 30% against – while 44% of those over 46 believe hospitality staff shouldn’t return to work unvaccinated, compared to 39% in favour.
Streetbees data also shows that 61% of those aged between 18 and 25 believe hospitality staff should be prioritised for vaccination, compared to 47% of those aged 26-35, 42% of the 36-45 age group, and just 38% of those over 46.
Taken as a whole, 47% of Brits believe that hospitality staff should be prioritised, compared to 39% who are against the idea.