ALMR to merge with the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA)

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

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The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) is to merge with the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association but will retain the ALMR name
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) is to merge with the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association but will retain the ALMR name
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has announced it is to merge with the Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA), which represents nightclubs and late night operators, to create a stronger voice for licensed retailers.

The new body will retain the ALMR name but will feature merged membership, offices and personnel. 

Currently the ALMR contains 101 member companies which operate just under 11,000 pub, bar and casual dining outlets. BEDA, which represents around 500 businesses, began as The Association of British Ballrooms but was reformed in 1989 to represent the nightclub and discotheque industry in its dealings with the music licensing agencies.

One voice

Announcing the move, ALMR chief executive Nick Bish said a united position for the two bodies was more important now than ever given the economic situation and the political and regulatory climate for operators. ALMR chairman Steve Richards echoed those thoughts as he welcomed BEDA members to the new organisation.

“I am thrilled to see BEDA join forces with our organisation. ALMR already operates across all segments of the market and the new combined group will give us greater strength in depth. Crucially, for the first time, Government will have one single, clear retail voice to listen to which represents the whole of our vibrant and diverse industry. One trade body dedicated to representing all operator interests – from casual dining to late night bars – not only makes sense, it gives us an informed and effective platform better to influence policy,” he said.

20th Anniversary

The BEDA Committee has agreed in principle to merge into ALMR following a period of collaboration on late night licensing and entertainment issues. Members of BEDA will be invited to attend an EGM later this month to approve the decision.

The final decision is expected to be ratified just ahead of the ALMR 20th Anniversary Conference which will be held in May. Last month BigHospitality reported the conference line-up would feature JD Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin​ headlining a debate on the pub of the future.

BEDA chairman, John Hayes will head up the late night division of the ALMR and represent those operators at the ALMR Council and the BEDA office in Stockport will become the ALMR Northern HQ following the merger.

Hayes said one of the priorities for the new organisation would be to respond to plans by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) to put up prices of the Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) Tariff which covers playing music at pub or bar discos. 

“Since 1952, BEDA, in its various forms, has existed to create a better trading environment for late night operators.  Our shared membership and combined expertise mean that BEDA within the ALMR can continue to deliver on that aim. My priority will be to ensure we present a robust, detailed and compelling response to the proposed stratospheric increases in the PPL SFE tariff," he said. 

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