Wales celebrates St David’s Day as WBPA marks one year anniversary

This St David’s Day in Wales marks a year since the foundation of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association (WBPA), set up to represent and support pubs and brewers across the country in response to the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

As the sector has emerged from the pandemic, the WBPA has been a strong voice for brewers and pubs across Wales, working with industry partners, the Welsh Government and the Senedd to achieve positive change for its members. Most notably grants which have provided pubs with £100m.

The brewing and pub sector has been disproportionately impacted throughout the crisis and latest figures from CGA highlight the extent of the recovery challenge.

The latest drinks trading figure for pubs in Wales, show trade is still down 26% in the first seven weeks of this year following a fall of 29% in December, compared to usual trade and following the emergence of Omicron and additional restrictions.

The WBPA anniversary also comes on the day the Welsh Government will publish its Budget. The WBPA is pushing for the removal of the cap on business rates reliefs, alongside Welsh Government support on pressing Westminster for lower beer duty rates and permanent levels of lower VAT.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the WBPA, (pictured), said, “On this St David’s Day it is fitting that the celebration coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association whose work has been pivotal in ensuring support has been provided for the pub and brewing sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“As we move to living with covid as an endemic virus it is crucial the pub and brewing sector receive the necessary support and guidance to ensure a strong and sustainable recovery. As the latest trading data in Wales shows, there is a long way to go.

'We are therefore urging the Welsh Government to help the sectors recovery by encouraging our calls to reduce the punitive tax burden on our sector to ensure the sustainability of brewing and pubs.”