Pubs And Brewing Amongst Worst Affected Sectors As UK Economy Contracts By 9.9%

BBPA responds to ONS 2020 GDP figures

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to new ONS GDP figures published for 2020, which show the UK economy contracted by 9.9%.  CLICK HERE

According to the ONS, Food and Beverage services – which includes pubs – dropped by 48.0%. Alcohol drink manufacturing, which includes breweries, fell by 33.9%.

The figures announced by the ONS follow 2020 sales data published by the BBPA earlier this week, which showed beer sales in pubs dropped by 56% in 2020 – a fall of £7.8 billion.

The trade association says the ONS figures heighten the need for a clear reopening date for pubs from the Prime Minister and stimulus support from the Chancellor in his upcoming Budget, as outlined in their roadmap to recovery published earlier this week to help kick-start the sector again as soon as it can reopen.

A British Beer & Pub Association spokesperson said:

“These latest GDP figures are yet another indicator of the devastation our pubs and breweries across the UK have faced through Coronavirus, lockdowns and severe restrictions.

“After nearly a year of being forced to close, or open but under severe restrictions, the numbers will come as no surprise to publicans across the country for whom the real, material impact of these numbers are being felt.“Things cannot continue as they are. Local pubs and breweries have been burning through cash and building up debt for months, communities across the UK are fast running out of hope that their local is going to survive. Thousands of pubs and hundreds of thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance whilst we wait for clarity on exactly when and how pubs reopen.

“If measures aren’t announced on 22nd February in the Government’s recovery roadmap providing the clarity our sector needs on when it can reopen, as well as support it needs to survive until then, we fear things could get even worse. Even when pubs do reopen, they will need a stimulus package of support to kick-start them again.

“All eyes from the sector will also be turning to the Chancellor ahead of his Budget in March. He must do the right thing and combat the worrying trend of these numbers by delivering the financial support package our sector needs. That means a beer duty cut for brewers and pubs, an extension of the Business Rates holiday and an extension to the VAT cut for hospitality.

“Now more than ever people need hope of social reconnection in the near future. Reopening pubs, as the heart of the community, will allow families and friends to reconnect with each other in a welcoming, safe and regulated place  – something we have all missed.”