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Newswire - 22 November

22/11/2022 09:03:00

More needed from government, as trade reacts to budget

The chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced his Autumn Statement, triggering reaction from pubs, bars and the rest of the hospitality industry. Most relevant to the sector, a £13.6bn package of support for business rates payers in England was announced. The multiplier will be frozen in 2023-24, while relief for 230,000 businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors was also increased from 50% to 75% next year. Pub & Bar report that to help businesses adjust to the revaluation of their properties, which takes effect from April 2023, the chancellor announced a £1.6bn Transitional Relief scheme to cap increases for those who will see higher bills. This limits bill increases for the smallest properties to 5%.

Wetherspoon to open at the O2

Wetherspoon has announced a new pub opening in February 2023 at the world's most popular music, leisure and entertainment venue, The O2. With building works beginning this week, Wetherspoon is investing almost £3M on the new pub and will be aptly named The Stargazer, paying homage to its North Greenwich home and Greenwich's strong association with astronomy. Retail & Leisure International reports that the pub will feature a 3,800 sq. ft. beer garden, offering views across the Thames and Canary Wharf, and will create up to 70 jobs in the local area.

'Below capacity' Dark Star brewery to shut

West Sussex cask beer producer Dark Star is set to shut its Partridge Green brewery because it is operating "significantly below capacity". The brewer, which was bought by Fuller's in February 2018 and subsequently taken over by Asahi in January 2019 when Fuller's sold its beer arm - which included Fuller's historic Griffin brewery and its Cornish Orchards, Dark Star and Nectar Imports brands - to the Japanese giant for £250m, will move all operations in the Meantime brewery in Greenwich, London. Morning Advertiser report that Asahi said: "We have put forward a proposal for Dark Star to cease trading at its current site, in Partridge Green, West Sussex, as of 31 December 2022 and for operations for the brand to move to the Meantime brewery in Greenwich."

The Alchemist chooses Berlin for first international site

Cocktail bar and restaurant group The Alchemist is heading to Germany for the opening of its first international site. The group will open a venue in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz next year, a location chosen for its vibrant night life. Big Hospitality advises that it is due to open in spring 2023 and that the new venue will be a 5,887 sq. ft. site with space for 212 covers inside and 50 on an outside terrace.

Restaurant company insolvencies up by 60%, figures reveal

Restaurant company insolvencies have increased by almost 60% (59%) over the past year, rising from 984 in 2020/21 to 1,567 in 2021/22, according to figures from Mazars. Data from the international audit, tax and advisory firm revealed that the number of restaurant companies becoming insolvent over the past three months has increased by 15% to 453, up from 395 the previous quarter, report The Caterer. It comes as hospitality businesses across the UK face record-breaking food price inflation, soaring energy bills, widespread staff shortages and falling consumer confidence.

And finally...

New figures have shown that a campaign supported by Mayor Sadiq Khan to revitalise London tourism has brought £289 million into the capital since it was launched in May 2021 reports The Drink Business.