CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Government that they will be extending help for high street businesses, including pubs, with the cost of Business Rates.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans AM has announced that the Welsh Government’s High Street and Retail Rate Relief Scheme will be extended for 2020-21.
Business properties with a rateable value up to £50,000 can receive up to £2,500 towards the cost of Business Rates under the £24.2 million scheme.
However, the Campaign has called on the Welsh Government to go further and set up a support scheme specifically to help for pubs burdened by Business Rates.
The Campaign wants to see a specific fund to lower bills for pubs, as already operates in England, to help reduce the rate of pub closures.
CAMRA Director for Wales Chris Charters said: “Pubs are at the heart of local communities across Wales. They act as important social hubs – helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation. Yet many are suffering from unfair Business Rates which are contributing to well-loved locals being forced to close.
“Whilst any reduction in costs for businesses under the extended High Street and Retail Relief scheme be welcome, moves like this are only a sticking plaster.
“We need a complete review of the business rates system in Wales to help give pubs a fair deal and save them from closure. In the meantime, CAMRA would like to see a permanent scheme put in place by the Welsh Government to cut Business Rates bills for pubs to keep them open, alive and thriving.”