Campaign's 10-point plan to save pubs

A raft of measures to help watering holes in Wigan and across the country have been put forward by a national grassroots group.
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The Campaign for Pubs was calling for an immediate announcement on Friday that boozers will be able to re-open on July 4.

It wants clear guidance to be published on how they will operate and for social distancing to be relaxed from two metres to one.

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In addition the group calls for a mandatory Covid-19 rent code of conduct, including the statutory right to a rent review, to stop the exploitation of tenants.

The Cherry Gardens before and after social distancing measuresThe Cherry Gardens before and after social distancing measures
The Cherry Gardens before and after social distancing measures

The plan also includes a 12-month ban on change of use for pubs, a rent-free period for all pubs with extended periods of protection from landlords, licensing restrictions to be relaxed where extra space would help smaller venues open safely, and continuing full-pay furlough for staff in establishments which have to stay shut.

Wigan’s pub sector has found a variety of ways to keep going through the three months they have had to close their doors due to Covid-19.

These have included delivery services, helping with community schemes to support the vulnerable and online social events.

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Pubs have also been preparing for a potential return to business under the new circumstances over the past few weeks.

The Cherry Gardens Hotel on Wigan Lane posted pictures before and after tables had been moved to allow for social distancing, while the owners of the Bird i’th’Hand in Springfield have spoken of their optimism that customers will be keen to return to their locals.

However, while some are keeping a glass-half-full mentality, there are widespread concerns about the future of the pub industry.

The chairman of the Campaign for Pubs, Paul Crossman, said: “We need Government and others to really acknowledge and address the very real threat facing thousands of pubs up and down the country.

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“We need urgent action to support and save pubs that have already incurred huge losses due to the Covid-19 crisis and that are still facing the dire prospect of hugely-reduced trade going forward.

“We need real action now to save the UK’s hugely-important and beloved locals.”