In what it describes as “a year to forget for pubs” the BBPA has called on the Government to ensure pubs can operate without restrictions on 21 June after revealing the devastation the UK’s brewers and pubs have faced in the past 12 months.
As well as estimating that 2,000 pubs have closed for good, the trade association says that the Government’s lockdown rules have led to 2.1 billion fewer pints being sold since March last year.
The BBPA is calling on the Government to provide wider support to the pub sector – in particular to wet-led pubs that have not benefited from the VAT cut to food - and says it is now vital that pubs can operate without restrictions from 21 June 21 as stated in the Government’s roadmap for reopening, to aid with their recovery and the economic fightback after the virus.
“Sadly, we still haven’t seen the full extent of the damage yet and won't do for some time until things really do go back to normal. And by normal, I mean a return to what life was like pre-Covid,” says BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.
“Whilst we continue to assess the full damage to our sector, I urge the Government to look at providing more support for our wet-led community pubs who, although grateful for all the support they received in the Budget, will not benefit from the VAT cut to food in the same way restaurants will. Local wet-led pubs have been amongst the worst affected by the virus so it's important the Government goes that little bit further for them.
“It is becoming all the more clear that the Government must ensure all our pubs are fully re-opened on June 21st as indicated in the roadmap. This is when their recovery will really start and until then we stand to lose more pubs and community assets.”