UKH Cymru welcomes business rates relief as Wales shuts out sports fans

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

Just the start: UKHospitality Cymru says more needs to be done to help hospitality
Just the start: UKHospitality Cymru says more needs to be done to help hospitality

Related tags: Finance, Social responsibility, Health and safety

A 50% relief in business rates in Wales has been welcomed by UKHospitality Cymru as a boost for the beleaguered hospitality sector but has warned urgent additional support will be needed to avoid “economic carnage”.

Wales finance minister Rebecca Evans announced the relief for hospitality business in Wales, mirroring that previously announced in England.

David Chapman, UKHospitality executive director for Wales, said: “This help was essential to help our businesses from April forward, when there will be a new raft of challenges to face, including VAT returning to 20%, higher national insurance contributions and food, drink and energy inflation.

“The sector faces economic carnage in the new year, after a vital Christmas season trading was dismantled by pessimistic messaging surrounding the new Omicron variant.”

Proportionate grant support

Chapman continued: “We desperately need proportionate grant support to pull our businesses and workers out of huge debt and sub-viable trading that we have endured for most of the past 21 months or so.”

Chapman added substantial business rates reform must follow to address commercial inequities between hospitality and out-of-town and digital businesses.

“We have had a good dialogue with the finance minister and her colleagues so we are hopeful that a fairer business rates solution can be found for our businesses, allowing them to concentrate on recovery and job creation,” he said.

Fans banned from Boxing Day

Meanwhile, the Welsh government has announced spectators will be banned from all sports events in Wales from 26 December in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Welsh government said it will apply to all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sports events.

Economy minister Vaughan Gething said a £3m ‘Spectator Sports Fund’ will be available to support clubs and venues.

Ministers are expected to meet later today (Tuesday) to discuss post-Christmas hospitality restrictions.

Related topics: Legislation

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