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BBPA pleads with PM to speed up delivery of grant payments to pubs

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today revealed that 3 in 4 wet led pubs (74%) are still yet to receive their Christmas grant promised to them by the Prime Minister at the beginning of December 2020.

The Prime Minister personally announced the one-off grant, worth £1,000 per pub, to assist wet-led pubs forced to close through Christmas. Over a usual festive period, the average pub would make £47,000 in revenue – by far the biggest trading period of the year for the sector.

However, as of January 2021, only 1 in 4 wet-led pubs (26%) have actually received the grants, according to a BBPA survey of its members. It means thousands of pubs (74% of wet-led pubs in England) eligible for the grant are still yet to receive them.

The trade association has also revealed today that over half of the grants introduced to support pubs through the tier restrictions and November lockdown are still yet to be paid too. In the same survey of its members, the BBPA found that 46% of pubs are still yet to receive Local Restrictions Support Grants that were made available for pubs facing crippling tier restrictions and forced to close during the November lockdown.

The trade association says the delay in the delivery of the grants has meant many pubs reliant on them for their very survival could have been lost for good already.

It is urging the Prime Minister to personally intervene to ensure his promise of the £1,000 grant for pubs, as well as the Local Restrictions Support Grants made to support pubs through the tier systems and last lockdown, are delivered immediately.

It is also asking that the Government and Local Authorities work more closely together to ensure future grants are delivered to pubs at pace.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, (pictured), said, “Months have passed by yet still thousands of pubs are waiting on the grants they have been promised.

“It is unbelievable that so many pubs are still waiting on their Christmas grants and grants for the second lockdown. Considering we are now in a third lockdown it is scandalous.

“Publicans across the country are desperately checking their bank accounts every minute of every day to see if they have got their payment. Our sector is hanging by a thread, so for many pubs getting these grants is the difference between surviving or closing for good.

“The Prime Minister personally promised some of these grants for wet-led pubs. We implore him to now intervene and ensure his promise is delivered.

“It is completely unacceptable that it has even gotten to this stage where we are pleading with Government to deliver the support we’ve been promised by them. These grants are a vital lifeline, but only when delivered.

“Government and Local Authorities must work more closely together to ensure future grants are delivered to pubs quickly.”