We like to think of ourselves as a nation of pub lovers, but very few people realise the full breadth of what the humble pub provides to communities up and down the country.
In a report published today by Parliament’s largest cross-party issue group, the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group calls emphatically for the Government to wake up to the potential of pubs in boosting Britain’s economic and social wellbeing.
The report highlights the issues that pubs are facing, but also the fantastic good that they do, from raising more that £100m a year for charity to providing a lifeline for grassroots sport, worth an estimated £40m a year in financial and in-kind support.
Hundreds of pubs provide services to their local patrons, including regular lunches for people and partners with dementia, Christmas meals for isolated and lonely locals, free meals for old peoples’ homes, yoga classes, literacy workshops and much more.
The BII also gave evidence to the inquiry, explaining that:
“For many, isolation and loneliness are a daily reality, and for some, the only human contact they have is with the friendly face behind the bar. It may be just small talk with another customer about the weather, or a bit of lively discussion about last night’s match, but those small moments of connection with another person are what puts pubs at the heart of their communities.”
Pubs are businesses at the end of the day, but from an economic point of view, the beer and pub industry directly employs about 660,000 workers. In terms of GDP, the sector directly contributes more than oil and gas extraction or chemicals manufacturing, amounting to some £13.3bn GVA (Gross Value Added) each year.
Not to mention the £12.7bn in tax to the Treasury it adds every year.
We are very proud of all of the licensees that gave evidence to the review, but in particular our very own LOYA 2018 Winner Tanya Williams, who talked passionately about the jobs they had created for their local community, from chef to garden apprentice, as well as the local produce bought and sold at their pub, The Polgooth Inn.
The report is full of evidence of the incredible work done by people in our industry, and of the challenges they face, with business rates topping the list of financial worries. Former BII Chair, Anthony Pender puts it succinctly into perspective.
“The business rates on our North London Pub, the Somerstown Coffee House, increased by £32,000 to £129,000 over a midterm review and the recent reclassifications. This meant that we found ourselves paying a similar rate to a local supermarket which is understood to take over £15m per annum.”
Anthony Pender, Managing Director, Yummy Pub Company
An incredibly thorough report, it was presented to parliament with the sole aim of highlighting the vital nature of our industry. One quote stands out from the rest however and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”
Samuel Johnson, 1791
You can read the whole report on our website here...