“As we work through the finer detail of the Budget announcement, we feel positive about the balanced financial measures that the Chancellor has put forward. It’s clear that he recognises the importance of the hospitality sector to our economy, and the vital role that pubs play in communities across the West Country and beyond.
“The extension of the furlough scheme, until the end of September, will help us to safeguard jobs and bring our teams back on a phased basis, as trade gradually rebuilds. We also welcome the confirmation of additional grants - up to £18,000 per pub – and the extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday.
“As a brewer, and a long-time supporter of the Long Live the Local campaign, we know that the Chancellor’s decision to freeze alcohol duty once again has also provided much-needed relief for the industry.
“We remain hopeful that, as a nation, we’ll be able to stick to the Government’s roadmap plan and that pubs will be able to operate without restrictions from 21st June. This will enable hospitality to play a key role in the country’s economic and social recovery.
“We still have a long road ahead of us but after a period of huge uncertainty, we can now look forward to the future with more clarity and confidence. However, while the measures that have been announced will be a huge help in the short-term, we would urge the Government to keep the health of the hospitality sector under regular review until consumer confidence has been fully restored. This is likely to take time and continued support will be crucial.”