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7th February 2012

Britain must make the most of 2012 – Brigid Simmonds speech to National Pubwatch conference

Britain’s pubs must capitalise on the huge year of celebration in 2012 – without over-zealous councils and regulations getting in the way, a leading pub and tourism industry figure tells a major pub industry conference, today.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association was speaking at today’s National Pubwatch conference at the Guildhall, London.

Mrs Simmonds said that the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics, the torch relay, the Cultural Olympiad, and Euro 2012 offered one of the greatest celebration summers Britain has ever seen – and pubs will be right at the heart of it, for both locals and visitors alike.

However, there were real concerns over red tape and the lack of extra pub opening hours, as pubs need to be able to offer hospitality similar to that seen at big events in other countries, said Mrs Simmonds. The Government has already said it does not intend to allow extra hours on the days of the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies – and for the Jubilee this has been granted only on the Friday and Saturday of a long, four-day double-bank holiday celebration.

Brigid Simmonds comments: “This year the UK hospitality sector will provide a warm welcome to thousands of overseas visitors –and for many tourists, pubs are a ‘must visit’ experience. Having a great time will enhance the reputation of the UK and encourage more visitors. With pubs now a home for live sport, pubs will be right at the centre of the games for many people.

“During previous major sporting events I have visited, including the Olympics in Beijing and Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Melbourne and Manchester, there was no evidence of significant disorder.  Last year’s Royal Wedding was broadcast throughout the world – and extended hours did not result in any problems.  Families and communities went to the pub to watch the wedding and enjoy the celebrations together. We have got to get this right, so our doors are open for this great opportunity.”

Mrs Simmonds also paid tribute to National Pubwatch: “National Pubwatch is a great organisation which provides support for local Pubwatch schemes across the country. We are here to celebrate its role in our communities, supporting its work in sharing good practice, leading to a safer social environment in the UK’s pubs.”




Twitter: @brigidsimmonds


For further information please contact:

David Wilson: Public Affairs Director Tel: 020 7627 9151

Neil Williams, Communications Manager Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154


Notes to editors:


Brigid Simmonds is also Chairman of the Tourism Alliance.

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector.  Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain’s 52,500 pubs.


National Pubwatch is a voluntary organisation supporting existing Pubwatches and encouraging the creation of new Pubwatch schemes with the aim of achieving a safer social drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK.



Neil Williams

Communications Manager

British Beer & Pub Association

020 7627 9156

07974 249 779