BHA and ALMR approve merger to create joint hospitality trade body

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

BHA and ALMR approve merger to create joint hospitality trade body

Related tags: Bha chairman nick, Chief executive officer, Economics

Members of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) have voted to approve a merger to create a new trade body, UKHospitality.

The organisation will represent over 700 member companies operating 65,000 sites.

UKHospitality will be led by current ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls, with BHA chairman Nick Varney – who is also CEO of Merlin Entertainments – taking the same role in the new body.

Steve Richards of Casual Dining Group will be the deputy chair while Ufi Ibrahim, who has been chief executive of the BHA for eight years, is stepping down "to pursue other interests".

UKHospitality says it will offer a "strong, united voice" for the industry. Despite generating £130bn for the economy each year, the sector still lacks a serious voice in government, and there is still no minister for hospitality.  

“The hospitality sector is at a critical point, with fantastic innovation, dynamism and enthusiasm across the industry, however this is being jeopardised by significant cost increases and red-tape,” says Nicholls.

“The incredible member support for creating UKHospitality demonstrates our ambition to reshape the future of an industry, which represents 10% of UK employment and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer.

“I look forward to working closely with all members to achieve our vision and to give a sector of huge economic, cultural and social importance the voice it deserves within government, and to deliver the much-needed policies that will support its strong growth trajectory.”

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