Thousands Of Pubs And Brewers Face Permanent Devastation From 28-Day Lockdown Without Proper Support From Government

British Beer & Pub Association responds to announcement by Prime Minister that UK will go into 28-day lockdown from Thursday

The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the announcement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that the UK will go into a 28-day lockdown from Thursday.

Pubs will be forced to close across the nation for the lockdown period and will only be able to operate for delivery and takeaway.

The trade association has said the 28-day lockdown will result in thousands of pubs and many of the breweries that support them being lost, unless the Government urgently provides the sector the same, if not greater, levels of support than it did for the first lockdown.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“As a sector we are of course devastated to have to close our pubs and are fearful for their future, but we recognise the situation and that the spread of Covid-19 is serious.

“Make no mistake, this could be the final straw for thousands of pubs and brewers. It will also create major disruption to our supply chain partners whose businesses are now also at severe risk.

“The level of financial support will need to be same, if not greater, than that provided for the first lockdown earlier this year. This means grants for ALL pubs sufficient to cover ongoing fixed costs, and compensation grants for Britain’s brewers who will also be permanently devastated by the lockdown. The news of the extension of the full furlough scheme for this lockdown period is welcome, but we await the full detail of it, and will need a full support plan far beyond the lockdown period to save our great British pubs and brewers.

“A clear, early signal on an economic stimulus package from April next year is a vital element of this. This includes extending the business rates holiday and the hospitality VAT cut, and support on beer duty.

“As ever, we stand ready to work with Government on such a plan. We served our communities well throughout the first lockdown, and we want to continue to serve communities across the United Kingdom through this closure and for many years to come. Support from the Government with investment in the pub and brewing sector will reap rewards economically and socially. Only such support will ensure that we can come together once more to enjoy the warm welcome of the great British pub with a great British pint once this crisis has passed.”

CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona said: “A second lockdown is a devastating blow for an industry that is currently on its knees. Pubs have already invested thousands to reopen COVID-safe environments despite facing seriously reduced incomes. Simply put, the new lockdown couldn’t come at a worse time.

“The Government must introduce a robust support package for all pubs and breweries – regardless of their current rateable value. While an extension to the furlough scheme is welcomed, it does not go far enough. We need more details of how much support will be offered along with a clear roadmap out of lockdown to ensure local jobs and businesses are not lost forever.”