Community Pubs Month: Road to recovery for Britain’s pubs

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs across the UK breathed a sigh of relief as Chancellor George Osborne cut a penny off the price of a pint of beer and scrapped the punitive Duty Escalator in his 2013 Budget announcement
Pubs across the UK breathed a sigh of relief as Chancellor George Osborne cut a penny off the price of a pint of beer and scrapped the punitive Duty Escalator in his 2013 Budget announcement
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has hailed the scrapping of the Beer Duty Escalator in last month’s Budget as ‘a new beginning’ for the British pub and brewing industries as the consumer group launches a month-long celebration of British community pubs.

Community Pubs Month, which kicked off yesterday, encourages pubs to promote a variety of events throughout the month which will appeal to the public.

And, with independent research showing that 42 per cent of people are using pubs less than they did a year ago, Camra believes Chancellor George Osborne’s recent announcement to cut beer duty and lower the price of a pint by a penny provides the perfect opportunity to recapture those lost customers.

“The Chancellor has become the toast of Britain’s cash-strapped beer drinkers and we should now be paying around 10p less per pub pint than they would have been had the escalator remained in place in last week’s Budget,” said Camra’s chief executive Mike Benner.

Important step

“This is a massive victory for Britain’s 15 million beer drinkers and we are urging people to celebrate in their local throughout Community Pubs Month.

“Our research shows that many people are using pubs less in these difficult times and this tax cut is an important step in the right direction to support this great British industry and get people back into an essential community amenity, the pub.”

Camra’s Community Pubs Month kick-starts four national pub campaigns that will run over the next 10 months. The aim of these campaigns is ‘to raise the profile of pub-going and increase the number of people using pubs regularly’.

Working together

The group is calling for the industry, Government, local councils and consumers to back its campaign for British pubs by:

  • Asking local councils to include pubs protection and promotion policies in their local plans
  • Urging Government to build a package of support for community pubs including reform of planning law to protect viable pubs from change of use and delivering  legislation to re-balance the relationship between large pub companies and their licensees
  • Asking brewers and pub companies to back CAMRA’s Community Pubs Campaign initiatives throughout the year
  • Asking consumers to celebrate the end of the beer duty escalator in their local throughout April

Benner added: “There is now a need for everyone to work together to help reverse the decline in pub-going and put this great British industry firmly back on the map.”

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