Sacha Lord Calls For Incoming Government To Appoint Hospitality Minister

The Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, has called on the incoming Government to urgently appoint a Minister for Hospitality.

Speaking ahead of the publication of party manifestos this week, the Greater Manchester adviser stated he believes that many of the issues the sector has faced in recent years would have been prevented had a dedicated minister been in situ.

Lord said,

“I urge the incoming Government to consider installing a dedicated minister for hospitality as a priority.

“While the Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, has done well in recent months to liaise with the sector as part of his wider business remit, now is the time for a dedicated minister who is representing hospitality as their sole focus.

“The sector has been left to fend for itself for far too long and this has resulted in multiple misunderstandings around policy as well as a wide-spread ignorance among MPs as to the importance of the industry.

“From the 10pm curfew and the ludicrous “scotch egg” rule during the pandemic, to last year’s debacle over back of house drug testing and the continuing difficulties on energy pricing, there are countless examples of ideas, statements and regulations which have put the sector at risk.

“As the fifth biggest sector in the UK, and one which directly underpins UK tourism with a £93billion economic contribution, I am constantly bemused that there is no individual speaking on behalf of the sector in Parliament, helping ministers understand the plight, concerns and needs of the operators.

“Over 23,000 venues have closed over the past three years amid the heavy toll of the pandemic, cost of living crisis and interest rate rises, and now is the time for clear direction and dedicated support. Financial stability is just one issue facing the sector, but we are seeing the significant impact of a decreasing workforce as a result of the pandemic and visa regulations, combined with energy costs and business rate increases.

“Our sector is struggling and we cannot simply continue to talk into a void.

“Appointing a dedicated Minister for Hospitality must be one of the very first moves by the incoming Government to demonstrate that finally there is an understanding and appreciation of the importance of our industry.”