BBPA: Pubs are key to high street revival

By Tom Allsop & Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags High street Bbpa chief executive Prime minister Prime minister of the united kingdom

Pubs' adaptability should put them at the heart of the high street revival
Pubs' adaptability should put them at the heart of the high street revival
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has claimed that pubs should play a central role in government plans to create more prosperous and diverse high streets.

The comments are part of a submission to a government-commissioned independent review of the future of the high street by retail expert Mary Portas.

The review, which aims to identify what government, local authorities and businesses can do to generate growth and profitability on the high street, is part of the government’s wider Growth Review.

Specifically, Portas will advise on how government, businesses and shoppers can deal with the problems of vacant premises, adopt new business models, prevent the growth of ‘clone towns’ and increase the number of small and independent retailers.

While Prime Minister David Cameron said Mary Portas’s ‘straight talking, no nonsense approach’ would help create vibrant and diverse town centres, the BBPA is hoping the TV personality will consider pubs’ vital role on the high street.

“It is important that pubs are seen to be at the heart of this review,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

“They are vital to tourism and hospitality, and often occupy historic buildings or have taken over retail sites that could otherwise have turned into eyesores.

“Pubs also have a great track record of adapting to meet customers’ needs – look at the huge growth in pub food, the great value to be had, and also the way pubs are investing in state of the art coffee machines.”

Night-time economy

As part of its submission the BBPA also outlined the work the industry is doing to manage the negative aspects of the high street’s night-time economy.

It suggested that partnerships between traders, the police, local councils and local communities are the key to preventing crime and drink-related incidents.

Portas, who founded retail and brand communication agency Yellowdoor, will present the review to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), by autumn this year.

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