Stockport-based Robinsons Brewery have outlined the next phase of rent support for its tenanted pubs across Cheshire and the North West.
The announcement follows the government’s indication that pubs and restaurants may be permitted to reopen from 4th July at the earliest, after being closed from March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Robinsons has a portfolio of 240 tenanted pubs and 20 managed pubs, including over 40 in Cheshire. During the lockdown, the family-run brewery has cancelled all rent to its tenants to support its pubs and ensure they will be able to reopen when permitted.
Robinsons Brewery tenants have welcomed the rent support in recent months. Loan payments have also been suspended by the brewery on pubs that have had support to refurbish. Gill Leigh-Ford, of the Admiral Rodney in Prestbury said:
We have been overwhelmed with the financial support given by Robinsons Brewery during the closure of our business. It has been very comforting to know that we have caring landlords, who have been contactable on a daily basis, helping with every worry and every query. We are extremely grateful and feel very valued as tenants – and we send huge thanks to the Robinson Team. We look forward to continuing success for us all in the long term as trade returns – our local community can’t wait to get back to the pub!”
The brewery has now outlined its next phase of support to its tenants which will see discounted rates paid until October, and later for pubs in Wales where no date for reopening has been suggested. Managing Director (Pubs Division), William Robinson explains:
We are all eagerly awaiting the Covid-safe guidance from government to provide us with detailed information regarding the safe re-opening of pubs. As we wait, so we are planning for the next wave of support for pubs here at Robinsons Brewery. The last 12 weeks have tested us all, but our extended pub family has risen to the challenge and kept us, as well as each other going with help, motivation, advice and even central heating repairs!
“To assist pub emergence, we have announced our latest support in terms of rent payments. I wrote to all our licensees this week outlining the next phase of our pub support which included details of further rent reductions. This brings our planned rent support to over £3m which is an average of around £12,500 per pub since this started.
“On the 16th of March we cancelled all pub rents, with them recommencing in steps from 4th July. The plan to support our licensees through the next few months includes: a discount of up to 90% for July; up to 60% for August; and 30% for September and October with those who did not receive a government grant paying less than those who did receive one.
“Over the July to October period this therefore amounts to a further discount of at least 60%, increasing to 63% for the pubs who did not receive a grant. Furthermore, we will delay the re-introduction of loan payments until August and payments into repair and decoration funds until January 2021. Of course, this support will be delayed for our 40 pubs in Wales as re-opening plans are less clear there.
“Additionally, the BDMs have returned to the business alongside colleagues from other support departments meaning we can support and advise our licensees with their operational planning and customer communications.
“In the meantime, we have started brewing our cask and keg beers in preparation for pubs opening on 4th July with plans in place to deliver to them in advance of that date. Alongside all of this, our new craft keg beer – Hopnik CITRA IPA a 4.7% new world style beer bursting with fresh hops will be launched in July.”