Pubs / Uncategorised / 23 March 2021

SBPA Respond to Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill - ‘Huge and devastating blow’ to Scottish Pubs

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has tonight said that the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill, which passed Stage 3 in the Scottish Parliament will be disastrous for the industry. The Bill which was brought forward by Neil Bibby MSP will have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on Scotland’s tied pubs and the future of the model in the country.

In response to the vote Emma McClarkin, CEO of Scottish Beer and Pub Association said:

“Today is a sad day for Scotland’s pubs. In passing the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill, MSPs have sided against the recommendation of its own Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee, and in despite of the fact that few pub tenants nor any pub company supported the plans, which will be disastrous for our sector.

“This Bill puts the recovery of our sector in greater jeopardy and has been voted though despite any evidence at all of an issue. It comes just as pubs face their greatest challenge to survive following the pandemic and before we can even reopen. It is very disappointing – we have truly been let down by this ill-conceived Bill’. What is needed from our politicians to help pubs is to be focusing on reopening and supporting the sector into a strong recovery. This Bill puts the sector under more pressure at the worst possible time.

“The result means we have more uncertainty for the sector as pub companies will be forced to pause investment in tied pubs, jeopardising the future of the model in Scotland. For entrepreneurs wanting to operate their own pub business, the cost to entry will rise and funding to innovate, diminish. And for small breweries who currently sell into tied pubs via pub company contracts, they will have to negotiate pub by pub, inevitability hitting sales and putting Scottish brewers at a significant disadvantage. For pubs, breweries and for Scottish pub goers, it’s a hugely retrograde step.

“For a sector already hit the hardest through the pandemic this is a huge and devastating blow.”

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