Boozers boost the economy

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue pouring a pint of Hophurst Brewery pale ale Flaxen at the Stranger's Bar in the House of Commons
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue pouring a pint of Hophurst Brewery pale ale Flaxen at the Stranger's Bar in the House of Commons

Pub lovers are raising a glass to their favourite local after a national report showed the borough’s boozers add more than £100m to the economy.

Research by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) showed inns across Wigan and Leigh contribute to a financial bonanza, paying £31.9m in tax to provide service and giving residents £45m in wages.

The sector also invests around £8.7m in the borough and employs a total of 4,028 people, many of them in the 255 pubs across the local authority area.

However, the true value of pubs and beer to the borough could be even higher as the data was compiled when the area had four breweries and there are five producers - AllGates, Prospect, Hophurst, Martland Mill and Wily Fox - now open.

MPs are now celebrating the vital role pubs play in everyday life and urging the Government to do more to help the sector thrive.

Makerfield parliamentary representative Yvonne Fovargue said: “We know that the pub plays a key role in the life of local communities across Wigan but behind that social dividend is an industry that employs people, invests and pays taxes that are used to benefit the local economy.

“I believe the Government must do more to support the industry and I have written to the Chancellor asking him to keep beer in pubs and clubs affordable and further reduce beer duty.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “Pubs are central to our community as well as providing jobs for people in Wigan. I believe the Government should take action to support landlords and customers.

“I fully support the campaign to cut beer tax and will be lobbying the Government to do the same in the Budget.”

The data shows pubs are keeping a wide age range of Wiganers in work, with 40 per cent of those working in the borough’s watering holes aged under 25, 34 per cent between 25 and 44 and 26 per cent of employees over 44.

The BBPA commissioned Oxford Economics to produce the survey as part of its campaign to cut beer tax, arguing it is preventing pubs and breweries employing people and filling the Treasury’s coffers with tax revenue.

The research suggests nationwide pubs and beer contribute almost 900,000 jobs and add more than £23bn in value to the UK economy.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “We believe our industry should be supported to ensure we can continue to invest in jobs, particularly for young people. In recent years, the Government has cut beer tax three times, and opted for a freeze on duty last year. Strong support from members of parliament and the public really helped our campaign work and I am delighted to see MPs once again show their support for such a vital British industry.”

To find out more visit beerandpub.com