Shepherd Neame has announced rental proposals for licensees following the long-awated reopening of pubs on July 4. These proposals offer further significant rental concessions over the next few months and so allow a phased recovery for licensees from the current crisis.
This follows its cancellation of all pub rent for licensees throughout the period of closure, totaling more than £2.5 million to date.
The new temporary policy will provide licensees with a 70% discount on their prevailing contractual rent, effective for four weeks from the date that pubs are allowed to reopen. This will then be followed by a 50% discount in month 2, a 40% discount in month 3 and a 30% discount in month 4. This is on the assumption that pubs open with 2m social distancing, reduced to 1m by the end of July.
If the social distancing guidelines result in licensees being unable to open their pub due to the small nature of their premises, further individual support will be considered.
In addition to this financial support, Shepherd Neame is also providing Covid-19 risk assessment templates, reopening signage and thermometers to help licensees reopen safely, and assistance in processing beer ullage. Detailed guidance and business support has also been offered by Shepherd Neame’s head office team, along with a regular newsletter, to help licensees navigate the crisis.
Shepherd Neame will issue a further communication during October on the proposed rent concessions from November 2 until April 2021 when it is anticipated full rent will recommence.
Chief Executive Jonathan Neame said: “I would like to once again offer my sincere thanks to our licensees for their continued support in these challenging times. We have been so heartened by the numerous examples of licensees who have gone over and above to adapt their businesses to support their local communities during this difficult period.
“We are very excited about the prospect of reopening, but we have a long road ahead of us to get back to normal trading, which is why we are introducing this phased rent concession for our licensees.
“We want to ensure we continue to support our licensees financially in the reopening process, to protect their businesses for the future.”