Data reveals importance of pub sector to local economy

The pub sector supports more than 1,000 jobs in Bexhill and Battle
The pub sector supports more than 1,000 jobs in Bexhill and Battle

The brewing and pub sector makes a huge economic contribution to Bexhill and Battle, new figures from a study commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association show.

The sector supports 1,052 jobs in Mr Merriman’s constituency, across 83 pubs, and provides £24m in value to the local economy.

However, the contribution of the sector is threatened by a proposed hike in beer tax in the Budget on November 22, which would be on top of the 3.9 per cent increase announced in March.

MP Huw Merriman attended an event in the House of Commons where the figures showing the impact were revealed by the BBPA. The study was carried out by leading independent analysts, Oxford Economics.

New figures from the BBPA also showed the extent to which pubs in Bexhill and Battle are overburdened when it comes to business rates. Across the country pubs pay five times more in business rates than their share of rateable business turnover, while online businesses face a much more benign tax environment.

Across the country the beer and pub sector supports almost 900,000 jobs and adds £23bn in value to the UK economy.

Huw Merriman said: “The contribution which the brewing and pub sector makes to the Bexhill and Battle constituency economy is of huge importance.

“As a long-standing member of the Campaign for Real Ale, I have been pleased to see a number of pubs open and expand in the constituency in the last year.

“Wetherspoons has invested over £4 million in to its new pub in Bexhill. The team at Battle Brewery have already outgrown their first premises and are now brewing two ales and a porter from their new brewery which allows them to sell their beer to the public. I raise my glass to all involved in these local success stories.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “The positive economic impact of brewing and pubs on the UK economy is clear for all to see, but on a local level the large number of people earning a living from the trade has a huge impact.

“We are calling on the Chancellor to recognise the contribution of our sector by reversing his decision to increase beer taxes earlier in the year and taking action on business rates.

“These figures drive home how important our sector is for a vibrant and thriving local economy, alongside the huge importance of pubs to our local communities.”