SBPA welcomes Barclay review but calls for further action

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The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA), has responded to the conclusion of the Barclay Review into business rates saying the proposals do not go far enough and greater support for the pub industry is still needed.

The SBPA also revealed their analysis showing some astounding increases to the average rates bill over the next five years.

Commenting, SBPA President Brian Davidson said:

“The SBPA welcomes the conclusion of the Barclay review and its proposals which should improve the situation, however it still falls short of the reforms needed by our nation’s pubs.

“The introduction of a Business Growth Accelerator, expansion of the Fresh Start scheme, reduction of the Large Business Supplement and a review of the Small Business Scheme are all steps in the right direction and we would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible.

“However, there remains a need for a new approach for Scotland’s licensed premises which already suffer from a hugely unfair tax burden. While the 12.5% cap for the hospitality sector and the North East has shielded our sector this year, pub operators remain uncertain of what their bills will be moving forward and only have until the end of September to appeal.

“Furthermore, SBPA analysis of the 2017 revaluation shows that for many pubs, business rates remain a ticking time bomb with bills in the Lothians’ due to increase by 50.8%, 59.2% in Central Scotland and a massive 64.3% in Orkney and Shetland.

“These increases will be unsustainable for many pubs and underlines the need for more reform, particularly on how the hospitality sector is evaluated. We would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible and look at further support for our industry.”

SBPA comments on Labour support for Bibby Bill


Commenting on Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale’s support for Neil Bibby’s members bill, Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said:

“We welcome Mr Bibby’s interest in the industry but this bill would actually do the opposite of what he is setting-out to achieve.

“The pub market in Scotland is completely different to other parts of the UK, with only 17% of pubs under a tied arrangement here, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole. It simply doesn’t work to compare like-for-like in this case. Furthermore, we have already put in place a system of self-regulation in Scotland which safeguards tenants.

“Second, tied-pubs offer greater choice of beers than pubs free-of-tie; while tied-pubs average ten draught lines, free-of-tie pubs only offer eight and tied-pubs offer double the amount of cask ale.

“Finally, the tied-pub models offers unrivaled entrepreneurship opportunities, jobs and investment. In the last two years alone £20 million has been spent by pub companies and brewers investing in pubs in Scotland.

“If successful, this bill will hurt small business owners, offer fewer choices for consumers and ultimately cost jobs.

“We would therefore urge Scottish Labour to rethink their support for these ill-conceived plans and instead pressure the government into meaningful action to support Scotland’s pubs.”

Brian Davidson appointed Scottish Beer & Pub President, succeeds Mark Baird

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association has appointed Punch Taverns’ Brian Davidson as its new President, succeeding Diageo’s Mark Baird, who steps down after a year in the role.

Brigid Simmonds, SBPA Chief Executive, comments:

“I am delighted to welcome Brian to the role of President of the SBPA.

“Through his role as Punch Taverns’ Operations Director for Scotland, Brian brings a wealth of experience in the Scottish pub trade to his new role as President of the SBPA, which I am sure will benefit the Association greatly, and I look forward to working with him.

“I would also like to thank Mark Baird for all his work as President of the SBPA for the last year, and for his many years of support whilst at Diageo, particularly around social responsibility initiatives. He will be very much missed.”

New SBPA President, Brian Davidson, adds:

“I am hugely honoured to be taking on the role of SBPA President. The Scottish beer and pub industry supports almost 60,000 jobs, and contributes over £1.7 billion to the economy of Scotland every year. As President, I will continue Mark’s work to ensure the Scottish beer and pub industry’s priorities remain at the top of the policy agenda here in Scotland.

“I’d like to thank Mark Baird for his contribution over the past year, and hope to build on his good work.” Outgoing SBPA President Mark Baird comments: “I would like to wish Brian all the best in his new role as President, and offer my congratulations. We all very much look forward to working with him as our new SBPA President.”

Outgoing SBPA President Mark Baird comments: “I would like to wish Brian all the best in his new role as President, and offer my congratulations. We all very much look forward to working with him as our new SBPA President.”

Scottish Beer & Pub Association launches economic report at Holyrood


Gordon MacDonald

A new report by economic experts Oxford Economics (OE), commissioned by the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA), has found that the beer and pub industry in Scotland employs almost 60,000 people, and contributes over £1.7 billion to the national economy every year.

Launching the report to a group of MSPs last night in Kilderkin Pub on the Royal Mile, the SBPA said the figures highlight the importance of the industry to Scotland, and demonstrate the significant economic benefits that Scottish beer and pubs bring, especially around the employment of young people.

The statistics also demonstrated a continued high level of investment by the industry in Scotland, with £148 million provided in capital investment. However, the report also highlighted the astonishing tax bill hitting the industry, with almost £1 billion in taxes, each year.

Gail RossThe report’s statistics are broken down by Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions, allowing a detailed view of local impacts, as well as national.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments:

“Our sector supports almost 60,000 vital jobs in Scotland, and it is particularly important that we can go on boosting employment, which is why further supportive measures for our industry are needed.

“This is especially crucial for young people, with 38 per cent of the industry workforce made up of under-25s. IvanMcKeebrewing and pubs are providing a part-time opportunity for some, a rewarding lifelong career for many, and experience and skills for all.

“It was fantastic being able to launch the report with a number of MSPs. It really illustrates the importance of our industry to the Scottish economy by showing the number of jobs it creates for their constituents and money in the local economy.

Gordon MacDonald MSP, who sponsored the event said:

“Prior to becoming an MSP, I spent a number of years in the industry, so I appreciate the importance of the industry and the economic benefits that it brings across Scotland. This report showcases that and also allows us to see the LiamKerrbenefits down to a local level, which is a fantastic resource. In my own constituency of Edinburgh Pentlands, 689 jobs are dependent on the industry and almost £17 million contributed in GVA.”

Adrian Cooper, Chief Executive Officer Oxford Economics, adds:

“Our analysis confirms that the beer and pub sector continues to be an important source of employment and output at a national and local level. Its activity generates a significant amount of tax contributions, investment and opportunities for young people to enter the labour market.”

A link to the full report is available here: SBPA Oxford Economics Report 2017

For regional and constituency breakdowns, please contact:

Patrick Harvie