Pub Closures | November 2018

I have received numerous letters regarding pub closures.
Pubs play an important role in the economic and social life of our nation, as well as helping to promote responsible drinking. It is estimated by the British Beer and Pub Association that each pub contributes £80,000 a year to its local economy. They are especially important in rural areas, where pubs are often the central meeting point of the community.
The Government has therefore made sure that pubs are supported throughout the UK. In the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2017, it was announced that there will be a freeze on all alcohol duties for 2018. The Spring Budget 2017 also provided a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 with pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, which was extended in the Autumn Budget for a further year; through to March 2019.
Under the Assets of Community Value scheme, otherwise known as the Right To Bid scheme, communities can list facilities of local importance, including pubs. This means that if a pub owner wishes to sell, the community has six months to come up with a plan and funding in order to try to save it. While there are around 2,000 pubs in England listed as assets of community value, the Welsh Government is still to implement the scheme in Wales.
I am assured that my colleagues in the Welsh Assembly are doing all that they can to put pressure on the Welsh Government to implement the Right to Bid scheme, and support pubs in Clwyd West.
November 2018

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