Star to continue rent reductions in Scotland

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown support: Star Pubs and Bars has called on the Scottish Government to increase financial help for pubs or review trading rules
Lockdown support: Star Pubs and Bars has called on the Scottish Government to increase financial help for pubs or review trading rules

Related tags: Star, Heineken, Property, Scotland, Rent, Legislation

Star Pubs & Bars has said it will continue its rent reductions for its sites in Scotland, as the sector braces for the first week of trade after lockdown.

The operator estimated just half of its 230 pubs in Scotland would reopen for outdoor trade following the relaxing of rules on Monday 26 April. 

Venues are permitted to reopen for indoor and outdoor trade but cannot serve alcohol indoors and are subject to limited opening hours.

The Heineken-owned pub operator has said it will continue its 90% rent reduction support for both open and closed pubs until restrictions are fully lifted.

It will have invested more than £.57m in rent cuts in Scotland by Monday 17 May – the next stage of lockdown easing when pubs will be able to serve alcohol indoors.

This is part of an overall £62m rent reduction support for the UK so far.

Fragile state

Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens described venues are being in a “fragile” situation with heavy trading rules.

He explained: “We know the rent relief, which represents a significant investment on behalf of Star Pubs & Bars during challenging times for the whole industry, will have a significant bearing on the future sustainability of our licensees’ businesses – and clearly we want to see our pubs thrive in the long-term. 

“We’re delighted the Scottish Government has allowed us to reopen but the restrictions are onerous. Pubs are in a fragile state.”

The managing director called on the Government to bolster financial support for the sector in Scotland.

Mountstevens said: "The Scottish Government urgently needs to provide additional financial assistance or scrap the nonsensical curfews and restrictions on drinking alcohol indoors that will hamper the recovery of Scotland’s pubs.”

“The pandemic has shown the true partnership nature of leased and tenanted pubs. Throughout, we have tried to shoulder a fair share of the burden on Scotland’s pubs.”

Related topics: Star Pubs & Bars

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