Government launches first ever hospitality strategy to support pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs 

Business Minister, Paul Scully, has today (16th July) announced a new scheme to help England’s pubs, bars and restaurants adapt to consumer demands and return to profitability.

The ‘Hospitality Strategy’ will focus on reopening, recovery and resilience, and sets out measures to address current recruitment challenges and ways to make it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes on the high street to offer al fresco dining and serve more customers outside. 

It has been confirmed that pavement licenses have been extended and made permanent and takeaway pints are also set to continue for a further 12 months.

The government aims to make hospitality a career option of choice and develop a greener sector. 

Measures include:

  • exploring options for vocational skills and training that support careers in the sector, including apprenticeships, bootcamps and other qualifications like a T-Level, and working with the sector to raise the profile of careers in hospitality
  • supporting innovation and productivity by using the government’s Help to Grow programmes to strengthen the sector’s digital and management skills, and bringing hospitality businesses together with universities and other innovators to support the next generation of hospitality start-ups
  • helping the sector reduce emissions, including by cutting waste and single-use plastic consumption

“The pandemic has meant we’ve had to stay apart, and this has had a big impact on the hospitality industry, which exists to bring people together,” said Scully.

“We’ve been working with hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic to understand what support they need to not only reopen, but change and improve how they do things to meet changing consumer demands and protect jobs and livelihoods.

“We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training and help further boost the creativity and environmental friendliness of the sector through the first ever government strategy for the hospitality industry.”

The UK hospitality sector is comprised of approximately 143,000 businesses, employs around 1.7 million people and, in 2019, generated £40.4bn in Gross Value Added.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive at the British Beer & Pub Association, said that, after almost 18 months of closure and restrictions, the hospitality sector can now start its recovery as it begins to fully reopen.

“This strategy for hospitality, the first of its kind, is a recognition of the importance of our sector’s contribution to the economy and society and will bring government investment that will help our sector to build back better and serve communities across the UK once more.

“We look forward to realising the government’s ambition for hospitality with further investment in the sector and especially pubs and brewers.”

A new Hospitality Sector Council made up of industry leaders and government is being created to oversee the delivery of the strategy.

The news follows yesterday’s launch of the £150m Community Ownership Fund, which gives people across the UK the chance to run local pubs at risk of closure as community-owned businesses. 

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