BBPA reveals £285m invested by pub operators ahead of reopening

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed that pub operating businesses have invested more than £285 million in supporting their leased and tenanted publicans as they prepare to reopen once more from 12 April.

The investment came in the form of rent and other costs waived or reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic and is in on top of significant financial support to help ensure pubs are Covid-secure and can start to re-open outdoors on Monday.

The investment used to help makes sure pubs are Covid-secure and can reopen outdoors on Monday includes marquees and tepees in pub gardens that meet Government guidelines, along with outdoor heaters and outdoor beer pumps and fridges. These will ensure outdoor space is safe, comfortable and hospitality for customers, as well as efficient in terms of service.

The BBPA has said the £285m invested by pub operating businesses in their pubs across the UK showed the commitment to securing the future of their partners’ pubs and the sector as a whole. With the right support from Government and the ability to trade fully from 21st June, tenanted and leased pubs have a strong future, they can be a key engine for growth whilst remaining at the heart of their communities for years to come, the BBPA said.

It also said the investment showed the benefits of the leased and tenanted model of pubs, which is a partnership model that allows entrepreneurs and pub-loving individuals the chance to successfully run their own pub business. It said the support given to leased and tenanted publicans during the crisis was unprecedented and had enabled thousands of pubs across the country to survive the crisis, which without the support could have been lost forever.

The trade association says the Government must now recognise the investment the pub industry has made in its pubs, ahead of their reopening from April 12th, by continuing to support the long term recovery of UK pubs and address the disproportionate tax burden faced, through permanently lower VAT rates extended to all food and drink, a cut in beer duty and Business Rates reform.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, said, “Our sector is enormously proud of the investment we have made in our pubs and publicans. £285 million invested in our leased and tenanted pubs shows we are ready to get back open for business. It also shows we have supported our publicans through every step of this crisis.

“It has also freed up our publicans to invest in their pubs as they look to start reopening outdoors from April 12th.

“It is evidence of the strength of the leased and tenanted pub model. A model which has survived the ups and downs of hundreds of years and is now working to help the sector survive through the COVID-19 crisis.

“We truly believe our pubs have a great future ahead of them, which is why at every level the sector is investing in them. Crucial to pubs’ recovery though is ensuring the Government matches this investment by the industry with its own financial support. That means long term cuts to beer duty, VAT and business rates.”

A Wetherspoon's pub pictured following investment in the outdoor area.