BBPA fears lack of reopening plan for pubs will result in mass closures

British Beer & Pub Association’s hope for clarity on reopening and extra support for pubs have been dashed by PM Boris Johnson's announcement last night.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, said, “The industry was looking for a glimmer of hope today, a date to plan to and further financial support reassured, but it looks like we have more weeks of uncertainty ahead of us.

“With insufficient clarity as to when pubs will reopen, our sector remains in limbo and facing severe uncertainty and financial devastation. If Government plans to keep pubs closed until the final phase of release, as rumoured, this would make pubs first in and last out of lockdown.

“Despite this, the Government hasn’t outlined any specific additional financial support for pubs to assure and help them through the extended lockdown hardship they face. We understand that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but extending the lockdown without offering additional support will be devastating.

“Our own research shows that 40% of Britain’s pubs won’t survive beyond September with the current level of financial support on offer from the Government. That’s almost 19,000 pubs that won’t reopen. The Government must understand that the current financial support they are providing, although welcome, does not go anywhere near enough to cover pub’s costs through an extended lockdown. This is before we even consider an eventual reopening inevitably with vastly reduced revenue due to stringent social distancing restrictions in place.

“Without this specific additional financial support, the social hubs and heart of communities in many towns, villages and cities across the UK will be lost forever – resulting in immeasurable damage to the wellbeing of our nation. Our clear and urgent ask to the Government is that they recognise the real jeopardy facing the great British pub and put in place targeted measures now to save it, or risk losing local pubs forever.”