Business secretary Greg Clark’s “ambitious” new Industrial Strategy launched yesterday (27 November) has been warmly greeted by both the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
The strategy, designed to “to boost the economy, build on the country’s strengths and embrace the opportunities of technological change,” saw both organisations recognise the immense focus on the eating and drinking out sector, and its “consolidated approach” to secure support and stimulate growth.
Welcoming the paper, BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said:
“I welcome the industrial strategy, with its strong focus on places, people and the business environment. In particular, the huge strategic importance of the food and drink sector is recognised, of which British beer and pubs are such a crucial part. And on places, it is essential that high streets and new housing developments have access to pubs, to provide leisure opportunities and great facilities for local people.
“The proposed partnership with industry, through a new Food & Drink Sector Council, is something we will fully engage in given it spans our whole industry, from grain to glass. We are already working closely with DEFRA on a £100 million export strategy for British beer, and also through the Courtauld Commitment to deliver a 20 per cent per capita reduction in food waste by 2025. I am sure other valuable initiatives can be fostered through government working closely with industry.
“We are also working hard with VisitBritain and the Tourism Alliance on a tourism sector bid to include skills, connectivity and increased productivity, and we look forward to working with organisations such as the Career Enterprise Company on ambassadors to encourage young people to work in our sector, with its emphasis on career progression and people skills.”
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Government’s progress on its Industrial Strategy should help provide the eating and drinking out sector with additional avenues to secure support and stimulate growth.
“Consolidating the numerous aims and pillars into five foundations should hopefully allow for a more holistic approach to support across businesses in a sector that incorporates numerous elements of industry and trade. This consolidated approach is one the ALMR has been pushing for with its calls for a Hospitality Champion and flexibility from the Government.
“The Government is clearly serious in its aims to make the UK the most productive country in the world – a great start would be to address the tax and regulatory burdens on a sector that creates 1 in 6 of all new jobs and pays £63 billion in turnover.”