Greater Manchester Pubs Facing Devastation Unless Financial Support Is Provided To ALL Impacted Businesses

BBPA responds to tier three measures set to be placed on Greater Manchester, calling for more support to save the region’s 1,900 pubs and 32,000 sector jobs

The British Beer & Pub Association, , has today responded to the news that tier three lockdown measures will be placed on Greater Manchester from Friday 23 October, impacting 1,900 pubs and 32,000 sector jobs worth £664 million to the local economy.

The trade association says a stronger package of financial support is vital not just for pubs, but also brewers and their wider supply chain in Greater Manchester, if they are to survive the further severe trading restrictions or full closure they face.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“Tier three restrictions will have a devastating impact on pubs, brewers and their wider supply chain in Greater Manchester unless a proper support package is available to all businesses impacted.

“Pubs in Greater Manchester were already struggling with the 10pm curfew, rule of six, lower levels of consumer confidence and a huge drop in domestic and international tourism.

“These additional tier three measures mean pubs in Greater Manchester can only remain open if they serve substantial meals, but with even more restrictions including no mixed household groups either inside or outside and only being allowed to serve alcohol with a substantial meal. This will kill the business model of more than 600 food led pubs. The remaining 1,300 pubs who don’t serve substantial meals will be forced to close completely. The survival of all pubs in either of these categories is hanging perilously in the balance.

“Thousands of jobs will be lost too if the Government doesn’t take action. We are a people business – our staff and customers are everything – we are nothing without them. In Greater Manchester alone, 32,000 livelihoods are supported by these local pubs.

“Government must now do the right thing and provide our sector with a job retention scheme that will truly protect jobs.

“We also need clarity on the level of cash grants available that must be sufficient to cover the lost revenue and high fixed costs these pubs face. The Government’s current grants – as low as £325 per week for many pubs – are simply not enough. These grants need to be exempt from State Aid restrictions to ensure they reach all the businesses that need protecting. They must also be delivered quickly to ensure pubs do not permanently close due to lack of cash flow caused by not receiving the grants in time to save them.

“Support also needs to be made available to brewers and the wider supply chain businesses also seeing their custom taken from them overnight. We desperately need this if we want our local pubs to survive to serve their communities and support thousands of local jobs.

“Now Greater Manchester has been placed in tier three, the restrictions must be reviewed on a frequent basis – at least every two weeks – and re-categorised as soon as deemed appropriate. To do this the Government must clarify what criteria the decisions for transitioning in and out of the tiering system will be based on. We urge the Government to work closely with our sector on this.”