WBPA urges Wales to row back restrictions as pubs each lose £16k over Xmas

The Welsh Beer and Pub Association has today revealed that, on average, pubs in Wales lost £16k in revenue over the two week festive period from 19 December to 1 January, down 34% from the same period in 2019.

During the second week, between 26 December and 1 January, the revenue performance in Welsh pubs was particularly bad, performing 13pp worse than pubs in England.

In response to the announcement today from Mark Drakeford that Wales will remain at alert level two, meaning restrictions including no groups of larger than six, table service only, and social distancing will remain in place in pubs, the WBPA is urging the First Minister to provide a clear timeline on when these restrictions will be removed to provide Welsh pubs and brewers with the capability to plan for next steps.

If these restrictions are to remain in place for the foreseeable future then an urgent package of support will be required from Welsh government to ensure survival of Welsh brewers and pubs.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the WBPA, (pictured), said, “The festive period has been devasting for our pubs and brewers in Wales who had targeted this time as an opportunity to recuperate some of the losses they have experienced over the past 21 months. The restrictions in place are significantly impacting trade at a time which is already extremely difficult for the sector.

“It is imperative that a timeline is put in place for the removal of these restrictions enabling the sector to navigate the challenges ahead. Should alert level two restrictions remain in place it is evident that additional financial support will be needed to support the sector already at breaking point.”