Sector to play lead role in high street recovery

Kate Nicholls UKHospitality high street regeneration
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The government has unveiled a strategy that places hospitality and leisure at the heart of high street regeneration – is it at last taking the sector seriously and how to turn words into actions?

 

UKHospitality has warmly welcomed the launch of a new government strategy that it says recognises the unique and valuable contribution the sector’s pubs, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and other venues make to the UK’s economic and social wellbeing.

The strategy, which aims to ensure pandemic-hit businesses can thrive in the long-term and adapt to consumer demands, focuses on the ‘Three Rs’ of reopening, recovery and resilience.

Hospitality has been the hardest hit during the crisis, suffering the permanent closure of nearly 10,000 licensed premises and losing more than £87bn in sales, leaving businesses deeply in debt and threatening the strength of the recovery.

The Hospitality Strategy includes measures to help the sector build back better and greener from the pandemic, including a potential new T Level to boost skills in the sector.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The pandemic has devastated the hospitality sector and businesses are desperate to bounce back strongly and return to profitable trading. That’s why the launch of this new Hospitality Strategy is so important – it offers a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive.

“Building and training our workforce is a top priority if hospitality is to quickly revive and drive a national recovery, so it’s incredibly positive that a key part of this strategy is focused on addressing the current recruitment challenges and raising the profile of long-term sector careers.

“On the focus on carbon reduction, significant work is already ongoing in terms of leading the sector to a net zero future, so measures that will help support the industry’s roadmap are welcome. Ultimately, this strategy sets out a positive vision for the future of hospitality and how a thriving sector can help regenerate high streets and tourism destinations across every part of the country. We look forward to working closely with Government to deliver a plan of action.”


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