• 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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    25 April 2021

    [embed][/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][/embed]  

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  • Scottish Beer & Pub Association Launches Manifesto for Sector Recovery

    14 April 2021

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA), the leading trade association for pubs and breweries in Scotland, has today launched its manifesto in which it sets out a clear list of priorities for politicians in spearheading the recovery and future of the sector. As part of the manifesto, it is also seeking to engage prospective MSPs to commit to a four-point pledge of support. Central to the manifesto is a commitment from Parliament that 2021 will be a year of supported recovery for a sector that employs 67,000 people in Scotland and in a pre-covid year would be a national economic powerhouse and bedrock for local communities. The Scottish Beer and Pub Association is calling for a Scottish pubs sector strategy and recovery plan, a dedicated Covid recovery fund and a Scottish Pubs Minister to lead the recovery. In addition, it is asking for eight regulatory commitments, including that coronavirus restrictions will be based on regular science-based reviews, assurances the restrictions will be lifted in full in time and a moratorium in the new Parliament on further legislation that will place extra cost burdens on the sector. Support for a new industry led apprenticeship scheme to drive job creation and skills, a funded green economy plan for beer and pubs and policy changes to stimulate responsible drinking including in incentivising lower strength drinks, are also in the manifesto. Prospective MSPs are being asked to sign a pledge to: Champion Scotland’s pubs, bars & breweries Help the sector’s Covid-19 recovery Recognise that pubs are the largest community outreach network Put pubs and bars at the heart of community and town centre regeneration planning Launching the manifesto President of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, Edith Monfries said: “There are over 4000 pubs in Scotland and 130 breweries contributing £1.66bn to the economy and paying £785m in wages. Fast tracking the recovery of our sector will be critical to Scotland’s economic and social recovery. In our manifesto today we set out our clearly defined route-map for success which we hope the next government will listen to and work with us to make happen. “We need a long-term plan that makes Scottish pubs and breweries sustainable for the future so that Scotland’s vibrant hospitality and tourism sector can thrive once again.“Pubs are the bedrock of every community and constituency in Scotland, central to social recovery and part of the solution to heal isolated communities so we appeal to prospective MSPs to join us in signing up to our pledge to support Scotland’s pubs and breweries.”

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  • Level 3 Restrictions to Cause 79% Drop in Turnover

    09 April 2021

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has called for a fairer deal for the country's pubs, bars and other licensed venues ahead of expected reopening later this month, which they say is currently ‘grossly unfair’. Under current plans, pubs and bars will be severely limited in their ability to trade viably once allowed to reopen but will receive no extra support in comparison to other sectors which will be able to trade close to normal as soon as they open their doors. A survey carried out by the trade body showed that the Level 3 restrictions will see estimated turnover fall by 79%, making the majority of Scotland’s licensed venues entirely unviable. Pubs, bars and other late-night venues will receive the same amount as a café or fast-food in grant support, despite the restrictions having a much more damaging impact on the licensed trade. Commenting, SBPA CEO Emma McClarkin said: “The economic support provided by both governments has been instrumental in preventing business failures, but the current arrangement is grossly unfair to our sector. A café or fast-food outlet will be able to trade almost as normal from the 26th of April, whereas our sector will see turnover drop by 79%, but both will receive the same level of grant support. “Due to the nature of our business, a huge percentage of trade takes place in the evening but we’ve still no date for when we will be able to return to normal licensing hours. This means that many hospitality businesses are completely in the dark as to when they will return to profitability, with no further economic support from the Scottish Government expected. Even at Level 2, the restrictions on hours will see pubs down 20% on turnover. “Once again Scotland’s pubs and bars will be at a competitive disadvantage to those in England, where all limitations on trading times will be removed later this month. The Scottish Government must look again at the curfew and allow us to return to regular licensing hours as soon as possible, or provide those businesses impacted with adequate financial support to get them through. “The current arrangement is simply unfair to the licensed trade and the thousands of employees who work in the sector.”

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