Pubs and the Economy: Campaign launched to help beat January blues

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer duty, Public house, Beer, Great british pub, Camra

Camra wants to raise awareness of the Great British Pub and encourage support for a beer duty freeze. Image courtesy of Camra.
Camra wants to raise awareness of the Great British Pub and encourage support for a beer duty freeze. Image courtesy of Camra.
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) has today launched a campaign to help the pub industry tackle the post-festive ‘hangover by promoting the benefits of pubs to the British economy and encouraging more people to use their local in January.  

The new initiative, called Pubs and the Economy, will see around 7,000 free promotional packs to pubs across the country to help raise awareness of the Great British Pub and to encourage people to support the industry's call for a beer duty freeze​ in the 2014 Budget.

“Pubs play an important part in the UK economy and need to be protected and supported,” said Camra’s chief executive Mike Benner. “The ‘Pubs and the Economy’ campaign does not only call on people to use their locals in January, but also highlights the importance of the pub industry overall and encourages people to support CAMRA’s call for a freeze in Beer Duty in the 2014 budget.

“This support could play an important role in saving many British pubs.”

CAMRA is urging the Government to freeze beer duty in the 2014 Budget following the unprecedented 1p cut in 2013 and the scrapping of the controversial beer duty escalator​ – which added 2 per cent above inflation to beer tax year-on-year.

Benner added:  “Alongside contacting their MP and asking for a freeze in Beer Duty, the best way people can help the pub industry is to use their local pub during January. Many of us only visit pubs over Christmas but if we want British pubs, which are such an important part of our economy and way of life, to survive then we need to support our local all year round.”

Support your local

Included in the Pubs and the Economy promotional packs are posters featuring real pub staff and landlords from around the UK.

Licensee Billy Evans of The Derby Arms is quoted in the pack. He said: “When we took over in June [2013] there was one part-time member of staff, now we have five and would like to employ more, but the current economic climate doesn’t allow. So we work all hours to try to keep our heads above water.”

Eilidh Ferguson from the Red Lion in Britwell Salome (Oxfordshire), added: “After a manic Christmas period, there’s no better time to support your local. Your pub is always open and welcoming through busy and quiet times.

“We’re always here to lend an ear and would love to hear about your Christmas. Even if it’s just for a swift pint and one of our black pudding scotch eggs. What excuse do you need?”

Camra’s Pubs and the Economy campaign will run throughout January. The organisation’s latest figures show that the pub and beer industry adds £19bn a year to the UK economy, with pubs employing over 500,000 people nationwide. For more information, visit www.communitypubscampaign.org.uk​. 

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