A consultation has been launched by Government which would allow pubs and bars to stay open until 1am across the bank holiday weekend from 5 to 7 May 2023.
Policing minister Chris Philip wrote to MPs: “Opportunities to gather with our families, friends and local communities were severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“His Majesty the King’s Coronation provides an opportunity to come together and celebrate this great nation and enjoy our renewed ability to spend time together in marketing this historic occasion.”
Welcoming the news, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Coronation of his Majesty the King is sure to be a time for community celebration and the great British pub is at the heart of both. The opportunity to extend opening hours would allow pubs to make the absolute most of this joyous occasion and be at the centre of parties up and down the country, with people given even more chances to raise a toast to his Majesty across the three days.”
Steve Alton, CEO of the BII commented: “We welcome the news that Government are consulting on extending opening hours for pubs during the King’s Coronation weekend. It will give our members the opportunity to help their customers come together to celebrate at the heart of their communities, as they did in the Jubilee.
“Pubs are places that provide so much more than just a place to drink, and they will need a huge amount of support to ensure they can recover and thrive after the quieter winter months and the challenges they have faced since the pandemic.”
Kate Nicholls UKHospitality chief executive, added: “The King’s coronation is an event that millions of people across the UK will want to celebrate, and it will be extra-special for thousands of hospitality businesses facing huge cost challenges because it affords them an opportunity to boost takings.
“We welcome Government proposals that recognise the role that hospitality venues will play in the celebrations.
“We’re therefore urging the Home Office to go ahead with plans to extend licensing hours in England and Wales for the coronation Bank Holiday weekend. Any extra trading time for venues can make a vital difference as the sector looks to revive itself and drive wider economic recovery and employment.”
The move follows on from the decision to allow pubs to open for an extra two hours across the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, a decision which was initially welcomed by operators looking to recoup some of the losses from the previous couple of years.
Leading licensing firm Poppleston Allen said it was exactly this sort of national celebration that the legislation allowing extensions of hours in the Licensing Act 2003 was designed for.
James Anderson, partner, added: "There have been previous extensions most recently for three days in May for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee; the Home Secretary’s introduction recognises that the challenges the hospitality industry has faced and so there seems little doubt that this will be approved."
However despite predictions of a bonanza weekend for the Queen's Jubilee, offering a potential £76m according to Barclays, a snap poll by The Morning Advertiser showed three quarters of operators failed to see any significant boost.