Part of the trade association's manifesto launch ahead of local elections on 5 May, the recommendation, which would see roles introduced similar to those of Sacha Lord in Manchester and Amy Lamé in London, forms part of the SBPA's 10-point plan to support the sector’s recovery following over two years of pandemic restrictions.
Other manifesto recommendations include the introduction of dedicated hospitality strategies for local areas; licensing policy statements that 'do not place additional burdens on the sector'; the facilitation of shared Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) return points; an increase in the availability of low and no-alcohol products; assistance in lowering the disproportionate tax burden on pubs and brewers; and a two-year moratorium on policies which may create additional costs for pubs and bars.
Also included within the manifesto is a call for better public transport, a reduction in fees for outdoor seating and a more flexible planning approach, as well as an energy price cap on hospitality businesses.
“Scotland’s beer and pub industry supports 62,000 jobs and contributes £1.75bn to the national economy every year,” says Andrew Lawrence, SBPA president.
“The restrictions placed on our members during the pandemic had a severe impact. We fully understood the need to keep people safe but now, as we come out of the pandemic, there must be a path to recovery.
“Appointing industry champions to stick up for the industry, to help local and national government understand the challenges we face and what is needed to build back, would be a great start.
“Our survival and subsequent recovery is dependent on the support of national and local policymakers. This manifesto gives 10 clear ways in which they can do that, rejuvenate the sector and our town and city centres across the country.”
Last year the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) launched a campaign calling for night time economy advisors to be established in every major UK city.