Along with our industry peers, our CEO Mark Davies has written to the Prime Minister to address the support for the hospitality sector and protect the long term survival of the Community pub. The content of the letter is as follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

GOVERNMENT ROADMAP

Thank you to you and your Government for all the hard work you are doing to protect this Country and our Economy from the Covid 19 Pandemic.

I am writing to you with a high degree of urgency as CEO of Hawthorn, a leading Community Pub company, with over 700 Community pubs around the UK, with representation across 381 of your Parliamentary constituencies. I’m also on the Board of the British Beer & Pub Association, and I’m a founder Director and sit on the Board of NewRiver REIT plc, which is the largest owner of Community shopping centres in the UK so I get to see across the economy the impact of the pandemic on the Pub, Leisure and Retail sectors.

All 710 of our Pub partners and operators are small independent businesses and have suffered the most from the pandemic and the lockdowns we have had to implement.

I have a lot of respect for our Minister Paul Scully, but I have genuine and justifiable concerns that our sector is not being treated with the respect it deserves after the considerable effort by all pub-owning businesses to create safe, socially responsible and secure environments in July 2020 when we were released from the first National lockdown. There are a few points that have consistently been overlooked or misinformed:

  • Pubs are safe places to meet people and the majority of the British public share this view. I would argue that pubs are safer than shops and have done a better job than so many retailers at adapting to Government guidance and legislation.
  • Pubs are highly regulated environments, and our staff are trained and experienced at dealing with members of the public who don’t want to comply with the rules.
  • We have proven we can do social distancing very well. We can also control people’s movement better than almost any other part of the economy as most of our pubs have more than one access point.
  • The sector has invested over £500m in social distancing, and other transmission protection measures, and as a consequence of these extraordinary efforts, transmission in pubs has been remarkably low.
  • We successfully implemented and ran Track and Trace. All of our 710 pubs since 4th July 2020 have had Track and Trace in place.

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