18 pubs are closing every week. That’s 936 every year.
Public houses are cornerstones of communities up and down the country, annually contributing £23billion to the economy whilst giving employment to 900,000 people, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.
Pubs are having to become more inventive to even stay open. Diversifying their efforts in order to provide a more valuable and enjoyable experience to a wider range of customers. Pop-up kitchens, availability of craft beer and the hosting of festivals are now becoming commonplace.
80% of beer consumed in UK pubs is actually produced here, and so if more isn’t done, then this will have a disastrous knock-on effect to British breweries. Effectively, without proper protection, two our of our finest industries will suffer horrendous consequences.
Tax relief allowing pubs in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000 to have a £1,000 reduction in their business rates was a start, but does not go far enough. This government needs to press on and develop more proactive and progressive policies in order to protect our Great British pubs. These measures, simply put, will keep people in work. This government must do more to protect our cultural capital, protect those in employment and demonstrate they value an integral part of our culture.
The Liberal Democrats have been calling for a 12.5% cap on business rates for pubs. This would be a long term solution and not just, in the words of Vince Cable, a "temporary sticking plaster".
After adding her support to a motion to protect pubs, Wera said:
“This government must do more to protect an industry who employ so many people in this country. Pubs are part of British culture, and we must do all that we can to put measures in place to give them the best possible chance to keep on going.”