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  • SBPA launch local election manifesto 2022

    25 April 2022

      Scotland’s beer and pub sector was severely impacted by the pandemic through sustained periods of closure and measures which inhibited the sector’s ability to trade viably and freely, disproportionately to many other sectors. Coming out of the pandemic we were hopeful that our sector was on the path to recovery following a festive period devastated by Omicron. However, the cost-of-living crisis now facing us all will only serve to exacerbate the challenges facing our sector and threatens business failures across the country. The sector is now facing unprecedented levels of inflation, including energy price rises with no cap like residential properties, increased staffing costs and increases through every part of the supply chain. Before the Covid pandemic, Scotland’s beer and pub sector was both a national economic powerhouse, and a bedrock of local communities right across Scotland. Now however, some pubs are fighting just to survive. Our survival and subsequent recovery is dependent on the support of national and local policymakers. Scotland’s pubs and brewers need help NOW. As we approach next month’s Scottish local elections, our industry is appealing for policymakers to support the following policy measures: Local Support:  Establish ‘Hospitality and Late-Night Economy Champions’ to advocate for our sector locally and ensure high-level engagement with the industry for the duration of the recovery phase through the re-establishment of licensing forums Develop dedicated local Hospitality Strategies which recognise the importance of pubs, brewers and late-night venues to communities, town centres, the tourism industry, and the wider economy and ensure that local areas are an attractive place for consumers to visit and spend money Ensure that future licensing policy statements do not place additional burdens on the beer & pubs sector or inhibit the recovery, restrict the use of overprovision zones, and make sure that the industry is consulted extensively during their development Permanently waive permit fees for outdoor seating and adopt an approach to planning policy which places pubs at the heart of community and town centre regeneration to enable pubs and bars to trade freely during summer months to help the sector recover and to accommodate changed public behaviour and preferences, whilst ensuring the industry will be supported should another variant emerge, and restrictions need to be put back in place Work alongside retailers and hospitality businesses to facilitate shared Deposit Return Scheme return points in areas where these businesses will struggle to meet the requirements of return points due to lack of space or other factors where communal return points will benefit recycling Ensure DRS is workable without jeopardising investment in the Scottish brewing and hospitality sector. Protect and enhance the provision of local transport, promote the use of rural transport routes, postpone plans to introduce low emission zones and rule out the imposition of the Workplace Parking Levy to help maintain and improve footfall and reduce the burden on pubs already paying business rates Work collaboratively with industry at a local level to facilitate an increase in the availability of low and noalcohol products to customers National Support:  Assist in lowering the disproportionate tax burden on pubs and brewers by supporting a cut in beer duty, wider reform of the business rates regime and a permanent reduction in VAT for all food and drink sales in the on-trade Introduce a two-year moratorium on policies which may create additional costs for pubs and bars and engage extensively with the sector when considering any policies which may impact our sector Support an energy price cap on hospitality premises, similar to the cap on residential premises to help businesses in the sector survive the next 12 months View a copy of the manifesto here:local election 2022 manifesto (final) [video width="1600" height="900" mp4="https://www.scottishbeerandpub.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Local-elections-manifesto-twitter-video.mp4" poster="https://www.scottishbeerandpub.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Local-electiions-manifesto-pic-1.png" preload="none"][/video]

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  • Andrew Lawrence Announced as New SBPA President

    21 March 2022

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has today (Monday 21 March 2022) announced that Andrew Lawrence Strategy Director at Molson Coors will be its new President. Lawrence will take over from Edith Monfries of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, and join Vice President Paul Wishart of Greene King and Chief Executive Emma McClarkin in overseeing the continued success and growth of the Association. [caption id="attachment_7892" align="alignright" width="184"] New President Andrew Lawrence[/caption] The appointment follows the release of a new report by Oxford Economics which revealed that Scotland’s beer and pub industry support almost 62,000 jobs and contributes £1.75bn to the national economy every year. The new data was released in company of MSPs at Kilderkin pub in Edinburgh. Commenting on his appointment, new President Andrew Lawrence said: “Having been part of the SBPA in previous roles I am pleased to now have been appointed as President and am looking forward to building on the brilliant work of previous Presidents to continue to champion the beer and pub industry and represent our members interests in Scotland. “Working together as a group and with other trade bodies will be critical to our recovery from the pandemic, and so I am looking forward to supporting SBPA members to achieve the very best for our sector.” Outgoing President Edith Monfries said: “As a relative newcomer to our industry I felt honoured to fulfil the role during a time of great challenge for our industry. . I wish Andrew every success as new President, and I am sure that he will be a fantastic figurehead for our energetic SBPA who make a real difference across the industry.” Emma McClarkin, SBPA Chief Executive added: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrew as our new President and are really looking forward to working with him to continue to champion our pubs and brewers in Scotland. “As our industry recovers from the pandemic we need industry expertise and passion for our cause more than ever and I am confident Andrew will provide just that.”

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  • Pub Sector Welcomes Removal of Most Restrictions – Over 200 Pubs Set to Reopen for First Time

    03 August 2021

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has welcomed the announcement today from the First Minister that Scotland will move ‘beyond level 0’ from Monday (9 Aug). The removal of most restrictions means that over 200 pubs which had remained closed due to restrictions, will now be able to open their doors to customers again. The trade association, however, warned that there was a ‘range of pressing challenges’ still impacting the sector and that Government support would be crucial in the recovery phase. 285 Scottish pubs are estimated to have closed down since the start of the pandemic and not expected to reopen. Commenting, CEO of the SBPA Emma McClarkin said: “This is the confirmation that so many in our sector have been desperate to hear. It is fantastic news for our pubs which have suffered more than most sectors over the last 15 months. Over 200 Scottish pubs will now be able to reopen their doors for the first-time from next Monday. “Only from Monday can the recovery of our sector begin as we look to progress towards rebuilding, paying off accrued debts and welcoming customers fully once more. It is estimated that Scotland has lost 285 pubs for good since the start of the pandemic and hundreds more remaining at risk, with a need to reduce the tax and regulatory burden that they face. Consumer confidence also remains fragile, meaning it is vital that we get the recovery phase right. The ongoing requirement for face coverings and collection of customer contact information will have a small impact which must be recognised by Government. “Our businesses are faced with a range of pressing challenges, including staffing issues and supply chain pressures which will require the Government to continue to work closely with us to support recovery. With the correct support, the sector can be at the forefront of Scotland’s economic recovery, creating jobs and reviving our towns and cities.”

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  • Over 200 Pubs Could Reopen for First Time on 9th August, if Restrictions are Removed Enabling Pubs to Trade Viably Says SBPA

    30 July 2021

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has said that over 200 pubs in Scotland could reopen for the first time on 9th August, if restrictions are lifted enabling pubs to trade viably again. According to the SBPA though, an estimated 285 pubs in Scotland have sadly closed their doors for good since the start of the pandemic and will not reopen.The Scottish Government is expected to confirm a removal of restrictions from 9 August and announce baseline measures next week.The SBPA has held recent meetings with the Scottish Government and Ministers to highlight key restrictions that need to be removed in pubs to make trade viable, whilst keeping customers safe. Key for the nation’s pubs is the removal of table-only service and an end to the midnight curfew, which the SBPA says must be removed if Scottish pubs are to trade viably once more. According to the industry, if these restrictions on pubs are removed, they can work with the Scottish Government on other baseline measures so long as they are workable and maintain business viability.Commenting, SBPA CEO Emma McClarkin said: “It is vital for our hospitality industry and pubs that key restrictions are removed. Scotland is estimated to have lost 285 pubs since the start of the pandemic, but a further 200 plus pubs could reopen on the 9th of August if enough restrictions are removed. “We have been pushing the government strongly on this, particularly the need to end the curfew on trading hours which has meant late-night premises are unable to open, and the end of table-only service – which has been devastating to many of our smaller establishments. “Removing these restrictions is key to our pubs’ viability. If these restrictions are removed, we can work with the Scottish Government on other baseline restrictions so long as they are workable and enable business viability. “If heavy restrictions remain in place beyond the baseline that make pubs unviable, then pubs could be at risk of closing for good. “It is crucial the Scottish Government get this right and align us closely as possible to the other nations of the UK to ensure our recovery is not outpaced and we lose out on investment. We stand ready to work with the Scottish Government to get this right. “The pandemic has been devastating to the trade but with the right of support from Government, we can bounce back to become a powerhouse of the economy once again. If that support falls short though, we’ll see more business failures on top of the 285 pubs already lost.”

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  • Scottish Hospitality Trade Produces New Guidance for Pubs as Euro 2020 begins

    11 June 2021

    With UEFA EURO 2020™ kicking-off today (Friday 11 June), the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has produced practical guidance for pubs to help ensure screenings are a success and customers and staff are kept safe during the tournament. The new guidance has been developed alongside the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Scottish Hospitality Group, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, UK-Hospitality and local authority regulators. Live sport is a hugely important part of the pub experience and UEFA EURO 2020™ is a major opportunity to attract customers who want to watch live matches in the great atmosphere of the pub once more. Particularly as it will be the first major sporting tournament aired in pubs since their reopening and the first involving Scotland for over two decades.The guidance aims to help pubs, other licensed venues, licensing authorities and the police all work together to ensure a safe environment for both customers and staff, whilst enabling people to enjoy the much-missed freedom of visiting the pub to watch the football once more.It provides a simple bullet point list for publicans to run through and make sure all aspects are considered and any appropriate steps taken for successful screenings, whether that is indoors or outdoors.The guidance also notes the extra safety measures required due to Coronavirus and in particular the Scottish Government guidance for hospitality premises. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said:“Pubs are the home of live sport, and we cannot wait for the Euros and watching together a major tournament in the pub once more. This tournament will of course be all the more special with Scotland taking part and games being played at Hampden. “This new guidance we have created with fellow trade bodies, government and the police will help pubs have a successful Euros, providing best practice advise alongside the current coronavirus guidelines. “It is important people can enjoy the much-missed freedom of watching the football at the pub but this guidance will help ensure everyone’s safety both in terms of COVID-19 but also any suspicious or antisocial behaviour.”Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said:“We want everyone to enjoy the tournament safely and it’s really important we all play our part by observing the guidance when watching the matches - whether that is in a pub, at home or another setting. “We’ve worked closely with the Scottish Beer and Pub Association and other key stakeholders to create additional guidance for venues looking to show the Euros and I encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with it. We remain in a precarious position in the pandemic and we don’t want to undermine the hard work and sacrifices that have been made to get us to this point.”Commenting, SLTA Managing Director Colin Wilkinson said: “For the first time in a generation Scotland are in a major football tournament and of course our pubs and bars are eager to welcome customers in to watch and celebrate the spectacle. “Our pubs and bars provide the best environment for supporters and others to enjoy the event in a safe manner in the hands of experienced professionals who will ensure a memorable visit for a memorable occasion.“This essential guidance will greatly help the industry overcome some of the confusions around what is allowed and what isn't and allow us all to comply with the Governments COVID guidelines.”Commenting, SHG spokesperson Stephen Montgomery said: “As everyone is gearing up for the Euros, we will be looking forward to welcoming customers into the safe and friendly environment of our pubs, bars and restaurants. “We know that our bar owners and staff are all professionals in what they do, and this guidance will go a long way to helping operators comply with the Scottish Government guidelines, and in turn help customers enjoy what we hope will be a fantastic month of football for everyone.”Leon Thompson, Executive Director at UKHospitality Scotland added:“The Euros will provide a welcome boost to pubs and bars showing the matches.“People will be keen to get behind their team for this milestone sporting event, and this guidance will help ensure that they can enjoy all the action with friends and family safely, in their favourite venues.”

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  • LET US SHOW WE ARE SAFE AND KICKSTART SCOTLAND’S RECOVERY

    25 April 2021

    [embed]https://ibb.co/HX9v5sH[/embed] On the day of hospitality reopening in Scotland, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) are requesting that changes are made to the levels route map. Changes can be justified by positive progress continuing to be made and the sector demonstrating its ability to trade safely and responsibly. The industry is asking for the extension of opening hours back to normal licensing times, which at the moment is not scheduled to be reintroduced until Level 0. The SBPA says that the current arrangement means that many pubs won’t be viable given the restricted trading hours- risking business failures just as the recovery period should be starting. Making the request, SBPA President Edith Monfries said: “It is fantastic to see Scotland’s pubs and bars reopening again today. Teams coming back and reconnecting with customers and communities is an important first step, and everyone is excited to get going again. “For many premises the ongoing restrictions mean they still cannot open and even for those who are opening their doors again today, the restrictions make a return to profitability difficult and many will operate at a deficit until further progress through the levels. “We completely understand and appreciate the cautious approach being adopted by Government in seeking to limit the spread of the virus, and so do the businesses we represent. They have invested, taken on debt and worked tirelessly to ensure their businesses are safe places for customers and staff to return to and take seriously their responsibilities.  “On top of today’s reopening, the current decline in prevalence of the virus coupled with the vaccination roll-out give reasons to be optimistic. That is why we are requesting that if we continue to see positive progress and if there are no major hospitality related incidents, that the Government consider allowing a return to licensing hours. “Unfortunately, the maintenance of the curfew severely limits profitable hours and for many of Scotland licensed premises, it could be the difference between survival and bankruptcy. “Removing the curfew restrictions in time for 17 May would provide an enormous boost to the whole licensed trade and deliver renewed confidence in the sector, which would be hugely welcomed by everyone in the trade. Let us show we are safe, and then let us trade viably so we can kickstart Scotland’s recovery together.” [embed]https://twitter.com/i/status/1386692106098458625[/embed]  

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