Greene King Pub Partners has continued its rent support for tenants during the Covid-19 crisis by confirming that all tied tenants will continue receiving 90% rent concessions until the end of the current lockdown.
This comes despite the government announcing grants of up to £9,000 for individual hospitality businesses impacted by the latest lockdown to help them through to the spring.
Greene King Pub Partners wrote to all of its 1,000 tenants to confirm the additional support, which brings total financial support to more than £25m since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
The support remains in place while pubs are forced to stay shut under government restrictions and applies whether or not a pub is offering a takeaway service.
Wayne Shurvinton, Greene King Pub Partners managing director, said: “The great British pub has been in a fight for its survival since the first lockdown in March 2020. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our partners since that date and we are determined to keep doing all we can to support them now.
“However, reducing rents alone will not be enough and without further government support, pubs will continue losing money every week while they remain closed.
“The latest grants are a good step in the right direction but with no date for pubs to reopen, they will soon vanish on other overheads and outstanding bills.
“Pubs need guarantees of further long-term support from government, such as an extension of the current VAT cut for hospitality and a continuation of the current business rates relief. As it stands, both of these would come to an end at around the point in the spring when it looks like pubs could finally be able to reopen. This could be the cruellest blow of all to hard-working publicans who reopen their pubs to welcome customers back in and suddenly see costs spiral.”
Greene King tied tenants have received the following support to date:
- All pub rents were immediately deferred for the entirety of the period pubs were first closed in March 2020.
- From 20 March to 10 June (first 12 weeks of closure) a Partner Support Fund was launched. One-to-one discussions took place with all tied pubs to understand their immediate financial situation so rent concessions could be targeted at pubs that had not been eligible for any government grants. Pubs with a rateable value under £51,000 were eligible for a government grant up to £25,000 to allow businesses to continue paying fixed costs, such as rent.
- From 11 June all tied pub tenants received a 90% rent concession that ran until four weeks after a pub was legally able to reopen, at which time a 50% rent concession continued for another four weeks.
- All the unopened kegs and casks that were out of date and unsaleable in pubs while they were closed during the first lockdown were replaced for free with fresh stock on reopening in July, at a total cost of approximately £1.3m + VAT.
- Following the end of the 50% rent concession around the end of August, rent concessions were extended for another four weeks at 40%.
- At the end of September, rent concessions returned to 50% for four weeks in the wake of tightening restrictions and rising Covid-19 case numbers.
- When the circuit break was introduced in Scotland in October all pubs were given a 90% rent concession.
- When Scottish pubs emerged from the circuit break into a tier system, pubs in levels two to four were given a 90% rent concession while pubs in levels zero to one received a 40% rent concession.
- From the date of the national lockdown in England from 5 November all tied pubs in England received a 90% rent credit.
- When pubs reopened in December all pubs in Tiers 2-4 received a 90% rent concession while any pubs in Tier 1 would receive a 40% rent concession – although there have not been any pubs in Tier 1 since December’s first review of the tier system.