Four in 10 pubs could be wiped out forever during lockdown

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Four in ten of Britain's 47,000 pubs won't survive beyond September without support during the coronavirus lockdown, a leading trade body has warned.

The research, conducted by the British Beer & Pub Association, would mean that 19,000 pubs across the UK would close permanently without further government support.

Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association Emma McClarkin said: “Nearly half of the UK’s pubs could close unless the Government does more to help them."

Liverpool's pubs have made huge efforts to survive during lockdown, with some offering pub lunches as takeaways and others offering gift cards.

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The government is due to set out its "road map" on easing the lockdown measures this Sunday, but most suggestions point to pubs and restaurants being among the last businesses able to reopen.

320,000 jobs could be lost if, as expected, pubs are one of the last types of business allowed to reopen

Pub closures on this scale would devastate the British beer and pub sector and could cost 320,000 pub jobs in regions throughout the UK, according to the trade body.

Industry representatives also made several other demands which it says are needed to stave off massive job losses in the pub sector.

The British Beer & Pub Association has called on the Government to give pubs all the support they need to survive a prolonged lockdown period.

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These include an extended grant support programme to pub businesses during the lockdown and when they reopen; a raising of the threshold for the grant support scheme to £51,000; an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond June; and fiscal measures to address the long term sustainability of the sector.

One industry body is calling for a raft of measures to stop hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost in the sector

The trade body is also calling for additional specific support when pubs are allowed to reopen to ensure "their businesses are commercially viable" while operating under social distancing measures.

Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: “Nearly half of the UK’s pubs could close unless the Government does more to help them. For the sake of communities and jobs across the UK – as well as the very institution of the great British pub – the Government cannot allow that to happen.

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"Nearly 19,000 pubs are at risk and 320,000 jobs too. If the Government takes decisive action now to properly help pubs both through the current lockdown and when social distancing restrictions are in place, then these pubs and jobs can be saved.

“Pubs are losing cash fast. The Government must understand that the current financial support they are giving, although welcome, does not go anywhere near enough to help pubs in an extended lockdown or when they can reopen under social distancing restrictions.

“Our ask to the Government is clear, recognise the real jeopardy facing the great British pub and act now to save it, or risk losing many locals and their communities forever.”

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