Beer & Pub Industry Calls for Hospitality and Late-Night Champions as Part of Local Elections Manifesto

New ‘hospitality and late-night economy champions’ should be appointed in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has today recommended, as part of its manifesto launch ahead of local elections on 5 May.

The recommendation, which would see roles introduced similar to those of Sacha Lord in Manchester and Amy Lamé in London, forms part of the Association’s 10-point manifesto aims to support the sector’s recovery following over two years of pandemic restrictions. Other manifesto recommendations include:

• Dedicated hospitality strategies for local areas
• Licensing policy statements which don’t place additional burdens on the sector
• Permanent removal of outdoor permit fees and a flexible approach to planning
• Facilitate shared Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) return points
• Enhanced provision of local transport, promote the use of rural transport routes, postpone plans to introduce low emission zones and rule out the workplace parking levy
• Work collaboratively to facilitate an increase in the availability of low and no-alcohol products
• Assistance in lowering the disproportionate tax burden on pubs and brewers
• A two-year moratorium on policies which may create additional costs for pubs and bars
• Support an energy price cap on hospitality premises

Also included within the manifesto is a call for better public transport, a reduction in fees for outdoor seating and a more flexible planning approach, as well as an energy price cap on hospitality businesses.

Commenting, SBPA President Andrew Lawrence said:

“Scotland’s beer and pub industry supports 62,000 jobs and contributes £1.75bn to the national economy every year.

“The restrictions placed on our members during the pandemic had a severe impact. We fully understood the need to keep people safe but now, as we come out of the pandemic, there must be a path to recovery.

“Appointing industry champions to stick up for the industry, to help local and national government understand the challenges we face and what is needed to build back, would be a great start.

“Our survival and subsequent recovery is dependent on the support of national and local policymakers. This manifesto gives 10 clear ways in which they can do that, rejuvenate the sector and our town and city centres across the country”.

For more information about the Scottish Beer & Pub Association visit scottishbeerandpub.com or read the full manifesto.