The Old Ship pub on Eastbank Street in Southport. Photo by Neville Grundy

Guest Blog by Neville Grundy, Southport and West Lancashire CAMRA 

The Campaign for Real Ale is asking drinkers and pub-goers to urge the Chancellor to take action in his March Budget to save the UK’s pubs and breweries.

The Campaign is calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to draw up a support package to save the UK’s pubs and breweries from having to call last orders for good. CAMRA fears that the trend of small breweries going out of business and pubs closing will explode if help isn’t announced this Spring. 

Southport pubs which have closed their doors in recent years include: The Old Ship, The George, The Plough, The London, The Blundell Arms, The Phoenix, The Victoria and The Falstaff, among others.

Businesses are being hit by the rising costs of goods and employing staff, help with energy bills being dramatically reduced from April, and customers continuing to tighten their belts. CAMRA is therefore asking pub-goers to ask our MPs to back the campaign to save the nations’ locals.

CAMRA is calling on the Chancellor to use his Budget to announce:

  • A 20% cut in duty on draught beer and cider to help pubs, social clubs and taprooms across Great Britain to compete with supermarket alcohol when the new system of alcohol taxation is introduced in August 2023.
  • Assurance that the amount of help hospitality businesses receive towards their energy bills will continue at its current level until Spring 2024.
  • Introducing a permanent lower business rates multiplier for hospitality businesses in England to recognise their community value – with funding for governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to do the same.

CAMRA is asking pub-goers to use the e-lobby tool, which identifies your local MP and provides a template letter urging them to back the campaign to save the nation’s pubs and breweries. You can find it at: camra.e-activist.com/page/121106/action/1

Southport and West Lancs CAMRA Chair Doug Macadam commented:

“Local pubs and breweries are at the heart of our communities, bringing people together and tackling social isolation, but many are under threat of closing down for good due to the rising costs, spiralling energy bills and punters tightening their belts.

“If we want our pubs to survive in the months and years ahead, then the Government needs to use the upcoming Budget to announce a support package to save our pubs and breweries.

“Without that, we will lose much-loved community pubs for good and face more small and independent breweries shutting up shop, reducing choice for drinkers up and down the country.”

The national CAMRA website is at: camra.org.uk. The Southport & West Lancs Branch website is at southport.camra.org.uk.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com 

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