James Evison is Inapub's multimedia and food editor. He tweets @jamesevison. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
19th July 2018
A campaign to highlight the cultural importance of pubs and the pressure they face from taxation has been launched by Britain's Beer Alliance.
The group, which is the same coalition of industry bodies and firms behind 'There’s a Beer for That', has created a petition and also a call to write to MPs asking for a cut in beer duty.
Dubbed 'Long Live the Local’, alongside the tax call, the campaign celebrates pubs role in the community, culture and identity of Britain.
It has taken six months to create, and included strategic and creative development from consumer research. The campaign will be supported by a £3 million investment for a three year period with posters, press advertising, an online film, and digital advertising. It aims to reach around 20 million pub goers across the country.
Some 900,000 people in the UK are dependent on the pub economy including brewing and other related industries, adding £23 billion to the economy and £13 billion in taxation.
A full programme of MP lobbying events from mid-July through to the budget in November are due to take place, developed and implemented in conjunction with the BBPA and other industry bodies.
Publicans are encouraged to get involved with 15,000 free in-pub activation kits consisting of beer mats, tent cards and posters, informing people about how great pubs are and how they need support. There will be a range of digital assets available for publicans online too.
David Cunningham, programme director for Long Live The Local, said: “Between 2008 and 2013, the industry experienced the devastating impact of a five year escalator policy on beer duty. In five years, we saw beer sales decline by 24 per cent in pubs, 5,000 pubs closed and 58,000 pub and brewing related jobs were lost.
“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.
“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.”
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.”
Jane Peyton, award winning beer writer and sommelier said: "Like millions of people in Britain and around the world I cherish the pub.
"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.”