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22nd October 2013

Industry associations unite to demand ‘Better Rates for Pubs’


The BBPA, CAMRA, FLVA, BFBI and BISL have joined together to challenge the burden of business rates on Britain’s pubs, with a direct approach to the Chancellor George Osborne MP on Small Business Rate Relief.  This comes as a new Early Day Motion (EDM 599) from Charlotte Leslie MP has been tabled in Parliament.


 The EDM calls for an extension of Small Business Rate Relief, better promotion of rural rate relief to encourage take-up, and a review of the revaluation system for pubs.


 In their letter to the Chancellor, the associations call for the extension of Small Business Rate Relief beyond April 2014 in the Autumn Statement, removing the potential for a damaging, £27 million rates increase on a recovering sector.



The BBPA has approached a number of industry groups to support the campaign, and has been delighted by the response – with bodies representing brewers, pub companies, tenants, industry suppliers and consumers all engaged with a joint purpose.




Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the BBPA, comments:




“The end of relief is a ticking time bomb which will cost Britain’s pubs £15 million, something they can ill afford. Business rates can be up to ten per cent of a pub’s costs. Let’s hope the Government builds on the excellent decision to cut beer duty, with more tax policies that help small businesses like pubs.”




Mike Benner, Chief Executive of CAMRA, comments:




“The burden placed by business rates on many pubs is too high and action is needed to address this. An extension of small businesses rate relief would be a positive first step.”




Notes to Editors:


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 half of Britain’s 49,500 pubs.




The letter and campaign is supported by the British Beer & Pub Association, Campaign for Real Ale, Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, BFBI(?) and Business in Sport & Leisure. The group were brought together after a wide initiation from the BBPA to work together to challenge the Business Rate burden.




The new EDM 599 – Community Pubs – from Charlotte Leslie MP reads as follows:




‘That this House supports community pubs; notes that 80 per cent of pubs are small businesses; further notes that business rates form a significant part of a pub’s fixed costs; and calls on the Government to support the British Beer and Pub Association and CAMRA’s Better Rates for Pubs campaign to extend small business rate relief for pubs beyond April 2014, promote take-up of rural rate relief for pubs and review the revaluation process for pub business rates to ensure that the valuation accurately reflects the pub’s actual turnover.




Letter to the Chancellor – letter copy is below:




Dear Chancellor,




Beating the Business Rate Burden – Extending Small Business Rate Relief




The pub and hospitality sector very much welcomed your previous decisions to extend SBRR. With this vital support for small businesses due to expire in April 2014 we, the five bodies and associations that represent, or have a strong interest in the success of the pub sector, are writing to urge you to extend this relief going forward.




Following your historic decision to cut beer duty and a good summer, pubs are beginning to see new opportunities. The potential for a significant increase in costs on our smallest outlets could prompt a new and unwelcome phase of business failure. Indeed for pubs across the country estimates show a likely increase in costs of not extending SBRR of some £27 million – reversing many of the gains from prior Government support for the sector.




Any assurance in your Autumn Statement, that this relief will be continued to the end of this Parliament would prompt an extremely positive reaction from the wider sector and, we are sure, would prompt a toast to you in pubs across the land.




Yours faithfully




(Signatory bodies are BBPA, CAMRA, FLVA, BFBI and BISL)




For further information please contact:


David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: (020) 7627 9151/ 07557 436 033


Neil Williams: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249779


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




Neil Williams


Head of Media


British Beer & Pub Association


020 7627 9156


07974 249 779








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