Newswire - 15 December

15 December 2020Newswire Topics: Leisure & Nightclubs, Pubs & Bars, Rental, Restaurants
Newswire - 15 December

Eviction moratorium extended until 31 March 2021

The Financial Times has reported that the government has extended a ban on evictions of commercial property tenants until the end of March 2021. The moratorium was originally introduced in March of this year and has been extended on two previous occasions - it prevents property owners from pursuing tenants for unpaid rent by legal means, or from evicting them. It is said this "final extension" to offer protection from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent.

Possible sale of SA Brain?

According to reports in Propel, speculation that Welsh brewer and retailer SA Brain was considering its options has resurfaced. It has been reported that they had been working with advisory firm Evercore in regards to it's future funding options and The Sunday Times is now reporting that the company has put itself up for sale after grappling with a slowdown in trading and rising costs. SA Brain has been owned by the same family since it was established in 1882 and it has c.160 pubs in it's estate.

Marston's records £397m pre-tax loss

According to The Morning Advertiser, Pub operator Marston's has revealed that it made a total loss of £397.1m during the year to 3 October 2020, following the closure of its near 1,400 strong pub estate for 15 weeks.

Zip World Tower Project in South Wales receives £4.4m backing

Insider Media claim that a proposed leisure attraction has received a £4.4m loan from Cardiff Capital Region funding to support the development. Cllr Andrew Morgan, CCR Cabinet board member and Leader RCT County Borough Council, said: "I'm delighted that the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet has approved the investment loan in Zip World. This project is an ambitious scheme that promises to bring many benefits to our regional leisure and hospitality sector - it has the potential to bring an extra one million visitors to South Wales over the first five years, provide much needed sustainable employment opportunities for the local communities and provide a tremendous boost to the wider regional economy."

Nightclubs and bars to be supported by parliamentary group

The Caterer advise that the night-time economy will have a voice within government after cross-party MPs and peers joined forces to save the "world-leading sector". The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night Time Economy will be chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, a former events manager and DJ. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents 1,200 UK bars, clubs, casinos and music venues, will provide insight to the group, which hopes to provide a key voice for the sector in parliament to address the immediate covid-induced crisis.

New bar group Nightcap to float on AIM with first acquisition

Reports in The Times claim that Dragons' Den entrepreneur Sarah Willingham is preparing to float a chain of city-centre bars with a team including celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, despite the malaise gripping the leisure sector. Nightcap, a new company led by investor Willingham, has announced an intention to float on AIM in two weeks' time and that it has agreed a deal to acquire the London Cocktail Club (LCC) group of bars. The float will aim to raise £6m to give the company a £14m valuation - the deal to buy London Cocktail Club will happen at the same time as the float.

Plans for £60m surf park at TraffordCity revealed

Place North West have advised that Belfast-based developer McKinney Group has revealed plans to build the North West's first inland surfing lagoon at TraffordCity with a £60m surf park, if proposals are given the go-ahead by Trafford Council in Greater Manchester. The scheme proposes a surfing lagoon operated by Wavegarden - a company that specialises in man-made wave generating technologies - together with bar and restaurant facilities, together with other interactive attractions for visitors such as a pump track and fitness zone, half-pipe skateboarding area, bouldering and balancing zones. It is hoped that the complex, called Modern Surf Manchester, would open by 2023.

Stonegate extends support for pubs in all three tiers

Hospitality and Catering News advise that Stonegate Pub Company has provided additional business support within its leased and tenanted business, Ei Publican Partnerships, in response to the government's new restrictive covid-19 tier system. The support, which will apply until further notice, includes credits of 90% for rent, tie release fees and fixtures and fittings rental charges for all tied publicans operating substantive agreements in England, in tier three, Nick Light, Managing Director of Ei Publican Partnerships, said: "Standing by our publicans, securing and protecting their futures, therefore remains our main priority which is demonstrated by the continuous financial support we have provided since the first lockdown in March."

And Finally...

The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland has been named UK Pub of the Year by the Good Pub Guide 2021, according to Big Hospitality. A Good Pub Guide spokesman said: "In this most difficult of years, we are delighted to award Pub of the Year 2021 to The Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland. To compete in the Pub of the Year category, a pub has to have unanimous enthusiasm from all readers on all aspects of its business - it has to be top of its game and The Olive Branch is a perennially successful inn that attracts a deservedly loyal following from both near and far."

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Graeme Bunn

Graeme Bunn

Managing Director

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