Diageo urges Government to support pubs as it puts up £4 million for Scottish licensees

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Diageo has called on Governments around the world to put long-term recovery packages in place for pubs and bars as it made £4 million available to Scottish licensees as part of a $100 million global fund called ‘Raising The Bar.’ The fund has been established to support pubs and bars around the world recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Every pub and bar in Scotland that meets the criteria for the fund which includes a commitment to make a contribution to the local community, can apply for support from Raising The Bar.

The fund, which runs for two years, will provide practical support to pubs and bars to reopen and operate safely.  ‘Hygiene kits’ with high-quality permanent sanitiser dispense units, medical-grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves) will be made available and the company will also help pub owners with online reservations and cashless systems; mobile bars and outdoor equipment as well as digital skills training.

The company also called on the Government to provide long-term recovery packages for the hospitality sector.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo commented, ‘‘We are calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector. These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something that we have all missed so much during this terrible crisis – and sustain hundreds of millions of jobs, which provide the first foot on the employment ladder for young people.’

Roddy Smith, CEO of Business Improvement District Essential Edinburgh, said, “There are huge financial and logistical issues facing hospitality businesses re-opening safely, ‘Raise the Bar’ will provide much-needed assistance and will be a vital life-line for Edinburgh’s hospitality businesses and will help to support one of the key job sectors.”

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said,  “This announcement today from Diageo will be enthusiastically welcomed by operators who are desperate to re-open their pubs, get trading again, welcome customers back and play their part in the economic recover. The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit as a result of the pandemic, with pubs and bars now closed for over three months and its impact likely to be felt by the trade for a long time into the future. With over 50,000 jobs dependent on pubs and bars, we are an integral part of the national economy and communities across the country – it is vital we get up and running again soon, and this initiative will help support that.”

Diageo designed the “Raising the Bar” programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they need to reopen after lockdown. Their top priorities include hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work.

From 24 June 2020, bar owners will be able to register their interest for the “Raising the Bar” programme via http://www.diageobaracademy.com globally and http://www.mydiageo.com in the UK and Ireland. Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training and resources and be able to participate in global surveys to share insights, as they build back their businesses.

Nearly £30 million in total available for pubs and bars across the UK over the next two years.