Pubs are more than beer and pies
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MPs from all parties came together for a briefing on a new report on the economic and social value of pubs to their communities.
The report Inn-Valuable: Unlocking the Socio-Economic Potential of Our Nation’s Pubs outlines examples of a number of pubs that provide services in their community.
The research was published by think tank Localis and commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association.
Key polling findings include:
– 81 per cent of people say pubs are important in bringing people together
– 68 per cent of British adults think pubs help combat loneliness in their area
– 75 per cent of British adults feel pubs have a positive effect in communities.
The report makes a number of policy recommendations for the sector, including:
– a cross-government task force on the future of the British pub so the sector benefits from the best fiscal regime and regulatory framework
– a government established emergency fund for energy bill support
– the government must ensure all pubs have access to fair and reasonable energy contracts
– business rates rebates for diversifying pubs. Government should fund local authorities to provide partial business rebates for pubs which diversify to take on socially valuable roles, such as those providing “warm spaces” or food banks
– revamped minister for pubs role with cross-departmental remit. The role of minister for pubs, last appointed in 2017, should be reinstated and given a brief to work across departments to promote the British beer and pub sector to ensure it not only survives but thrives.
Shadow levelling up minister Baroness Taylor of Stevenage said: “The economic case for pubs is very strong and, as they diversify, they are now becoming community hubs as they help with combatting isolation and supporting local causes.
“Pubs at the heart of their communities are reflecting local culture – and that is only something that pubs can do.”
Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Alun Cairns said: “It is clear from this report pubs provide far more than just food and drink for the communities they serve. As MPs we all have a responsibility to recognise that, as the public recognises it, and support the beer and pub sector in continuing to deliver major social and economic value to every city, town, and village in the country.”