Relaxation of laws means an extra 9,000 pubs could reopen

Brighton pubs beer outside
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Communities Minister Robert Jenrick gets into the spirit of reopening by cutting marquee red tape as Marston’s look to serve punters in 700 English gardens.


An additional 9,000 pubs are expected to be able to open on April 12 as cuts to red tape will allow licensees to build marquees in gardens and operate with tables in streets across England.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed: “It’s really important that we back hospitality and retail which has had such a difficult 12 months. So we’re cutting red tape so these businesses can do al fresco dining, put marquees in pub gardens and begin to rebuild and prosper.”

From next month pubs will be allowed to erect marquees or other temporary structures in their gardens without planning permission and, in a bid to bolster business, can keep them up until September rather than the current 28-day window. Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “It’s good news for pubs, as we move towards the outdoor reopening, that rules around outdoor spaces will be more relaxed, particularly given the vagaries of the April weather.

‘We would urge the Government and local councils to work with publicans to ensure as many people as possible are able to return to the Great British pub.”

Ralph Findlay who after two decades at the helm announced his decision to step down as CEO of Marston’s effective September 2021, will be overseeing the reopening which will see the pub chain welcome customers into close to 700 of its beer gardens, a figure equivalent to 70 percent of its venues in England. Findlay said: “Looking ahead to reopening and welcoming customers back into our wonderful pubs, I am confident that we have great people, a fantastic team in place and that my successor will enjoy working with them and the Board to take this great Company forward to the next phase of its development.”

Adding: “The resilience of our managers and partners during this time has been admirable and we look forward to safely reuniting friends and family.”

JD Wetherspoon has said it will reopen 394 pubs with Young’s serving at 140 of its pubs.

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