Industry launches “ Long Live The Local ” campaign to highlight the cultural importance of pubs and the threat they face from tax pressures
Britain’s Beer Alliance – the pub and beer industry coalition behind ‘There’s A Beer For That’ – has today launched a new campaign to highlight the vital contribution pubs make to the British way of life and the threat they face from a range of tax pressures, with a focused call to sign a petition and write to their MP to ask for a cut in beer duty.
Called “Long Live The Local”, the new campaign’s mission is to celebrate the important role local pubs play in Britain’s community, culture and national identity. It will also call for a cut in the devastatingly high beer duty, which the Government has plans to increase further through RPI linked rises for at least the next three years.
Three local pubs in Great Britain close for good every day1 and should the level of beer duty – which is already three times the EU average and 12 times higher than Germany2 – continue to increase year after year, beer sales will fall, pubs will continue to close, communities will lose a vital asset and jobs will be lost, the new campaign will argue.
The campaign, which has taken six months to develop, including extensive strategic and creative development driven by consumer research, will be supported by a £3 million investment each year for at least the next three years. It will comprise of striking nationwide posters, regional press advertising, a cinematic online film and extensive social and digital advertising, reaching almost 20 million pub goers and industry staff.
With 900,000 people in the UK reliant on the pub, brewing and other related industries for work, adding £23 billion to the economy and contributing £13 billion in taxation3, the campaign will also remind politicians of the economic – as well as the cultural – importance of the local pub and wider
1 Figure calculated from CGA Outlet Index data and British Beer & Pub Association analysis of Valuations Office Agency data
2 Data provided by the British Beer & Pub Association
3 Data provided by the British Beer & Pub Association
brewing industry. There will be a full programme of MP lobbying events from mid-July through to the budget in November, developed and implemented in conjunction with the BBPA and other industry bodies who have successfully worked together on previous campaigns to lobby for fairer taxation.
Publicans are encouraged to get involved in the campaign. There are over 15,000 free in-pub activation kits consisting of beer mats, tent cards and posters, which are available for publicans to inform their customers and staff about how great pubs are and how they need to be supported. There will be a range of social and digital assets available for publicans online too, allowing them to promote the campaign through their pub’s own website and social channels.
Publicans wanting to learn more about the “Long Live The Local Campaign” and request campaign materials can visit www.longlivethelocal.pub, where they can also sign the petition and send a letter via email to their MP asking to cut the beer tax.
David Cunningham, Programme Director for “Long Live The Local”, said:
“The punitive beer tax, in conjunction with the other tax pressures from VAT and increasing business rates, are without doubt the biggest challenges facing the pub and beer industry right now. Between 2008 and 2013, the industry experienced the devastating impact of a five year escalator policy on beer duty. In 5 years, we saw beer sales decline by 24% in pubs, 5000 pubs closed and 58,000 pub and brewing related jobs were lost4. We need a cut in beer duty and in the current political and economic climate we recognise that this is not going to be easy to achieve. It will require a step change in approach from the whole industry, but we cannot allow beer tax to increase again.
“Our campaign will show the positive role that local pubs play in our lives and remind people that pubs play a vital role in villages, towns and cities across the country. They are great places where a wide variety of life’s events – big and small – are played out making them a unique part of modern British culture and identity. We will, however, also raise awareness of the jeopardy our local pubs face from an unprecedented range of tax pressures contributing to three local pubs a day closing their doors for good.
“This campaign is important and its success will not only help local pubs, but job security, the wellbeing of the economy and most importantly local communities across the country. I encourage everyone who enjoys pubs to get involved in the campaign and join the cause to say no to the planned increases in beer tax and help secure the future of your local.”
Britain’s Beer Alliance will expand the number of backers for the campaign beyond the 120 organisations that supported There’s A Beer For That, with a range of pubs already signing up to support the campaign.
Sara Barton, co-owner of the Marquis of Granby pub and Brewster’s Brewing Company, said:
“We own the original Marquis of Granby pub in Granby, Nottinghamshire. Granby is a tiny village of 350 people and as the only pub for a few miles around we know what a crucial role it plays as the social core of the community. This new campaign to lobby for a beer duty cut and to champion pubs is timely indeed and we wholeheartedly support it!”
Ewan Harries of Individual Inns, who runs a selection of pubs in North Yorkshire and Lancashire, said:
“The pub is at the heart of British society. Even in this digital age, it continues to bring together customers of all ages to socialise and thus strengthen the community.
“A campaign to champion the pub is long overdue. Not only to flag its values to those not currently engaged but to make the political elite aware of the dangers of the current punitive tax system and regulatory burden currently snuffing out this cultural icon.”
Jane Peyton, award winning beer writer and sommelier said:
“Like millions of people in Britain and around the world I cherish the pub. I am so pleased that Britain’s Beer Alliance is launching a much needed campaign to celebrate what is so brilliant about our local pubs. With so many issues that pubs face, not least tax pressures, there is real jeopardy that we will lose our precious pubs which are at the heart of British culture. I have worked before with the team from There’s A Beer For That and I know they will collaborate with pubs, brewers and industry bodies big and small to deliver an inspiring and impactful programme.”
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