Along with the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and brands such as Siemens and Iceland, CAMRA and UKH have written to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to back plans for a permanent new bank holiday, coined ‘Thank Holiday’.
This year’s extra bank holiday, for which pubs have been granted extended licensing hours, is due to take place on Friday 3 June in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona said: “We can all raise a glass to the Government's recent decision to extend licensing hours for pubs over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.
“After two years of lockdowns and restrictions, this is a real opportunity for communities to come together down at their local, boosting morale as well as footfall for businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic.
Economic and social benefits
“We urge the Government to consider making this additional bank holiday a permanent feature in the calendar, as we believe it would be both economically and socially beneficial for communities up and down the country.
“We hope everyone will choose to support their local over the long weekend as well as the coming months, as we celebrate our first summer without restrictions."
This comes as previous Government evaluations likely overestimated the economic cost of a new permanent bank holiday by 64%, according to CAMRA.
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Research by PwC, commissioned for CAMRA, found the estimated total cost to the economy derived under the PwC framework to be £831m, equating to £20.13 per adult, or 0.04% of GDP, which could be further reduced to £786m if the bank holiday was held on a Friday.
Furthermore, this is before accounting for the positive social benefits for sectors particularly impacted by the pandemic such as retail, hospitality, and tourism, who would benefit greatly from additional economic activity.
The report concluded any negative economic impacts of a new bank holiday would be smaller than pre-existing evidence suggested with strong evidence any direct costs would be offset by wider community and wellbeing benefits.
Businesses woman Deborah Meaden, best known for being an investor on BBC’s Dragons Den, has echoed the calls form UKH and CAMRA.
She said: "The Great British Bank holiday is enjoyed by one and all across society.
“We all have fond memories of trips away, gatherings with friends, or just enjoying some relaxing time with loved ones.
“But it’s also a major boon for many businesses, especially those sectors that have struggled during the pandemic.
“I’m backing the campaign because I think it will be a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s seventy years of public service, and all the people who make our communities kinder, nicer places to live.
“The Thank Holiday will provide the country with [the] social and economic stimulus we need after a difficult few years."