Championing Pubs & Bars
29th February – immediate
MPs and the media urged to change their outlook & celebrate modern pubs and bars
New industry campaign highlights industry positives to politicians and the media
A major new campaign launches today urging MPs and the media to look afresh at modern pubs and bars and recognise their hugely positive impact – creating thousands of jobs and uniting communities.
The ‘I’ve Changed My Outlook’ campaign, launched by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the leading national trade body for pubs and bars, is seeking to rebalance the debate – away from, at times, a relentless focus on pub closures and 24-hour drinking and towards celebrating how dynamic and diverse modern licensed hospitality businesses are.
It will do this by allowing those who run, work in and visit pubs and bars to speak directly to political audiences and share their experiences. A dedicated campaign website – www.ivechangedmyoutlook.org.uk – features short video clips that people have uploaded from their cameras or mobile phones telling us why they like working in the industry or spending time in our outlets. Contributors are asked for their postcode so we can send a link to their video to their constituency MP.
Nick Bish, ALMR Chief Executive, said:
“We are hugely excited to be launching this industry-wide initiative to change perceptions of our industry. We all know there is strong political support for pubs in the community, but this has failed to translate into an overall supportive policy and regulatory framework.
“We aim to change that by providing politicians with a first-hand account of the positive experience of people who own, work in and visit modern pubs and bars every day.Far too often in recent years the narrative around the pub industry has been negative, with issues such as binge-drinking and pub closures dominating. But The Outlook Campaign will bring a fresh perspective by highlighting the positives in the sector, such as entrepreneurship, job creation, education and community support.”
Launched with endorsements from across the industry, the campaign is also supported by leading key opinion formers. Companies who have already pledged their support and loaded their own video messages include M&B Chief Executive Bob Ivell, former BII CEO Neil Robertson and Steve Richards, CEO of Novus and ALMR Chairman.
Keith Knowles, Managing Director, Beds & Bars said:
“Sociable, welcoming, friendly people are at the heart of my business. I’m proud that they consider my company a place which can foster great friendships and build lasting careers. The politicians and the press currently don’t do justice to their stories or the experience that of thousands of my customers receive every day from a business that meets and exceeds their needs based in the heart of the communities in which they live and I along with others in my industry are calling for this to change.”
Sue Allen, Commercial Director, Daniel Thwaites PLC said:
“As a brewer with outlets across the North West we’re delighted to signpost this initiative allowing our staff and customers an opportunity to tell their stories and fully supportive of the ALMR’s efforts to have them heard by those in power!”
John Longden, CEO Pub is the Hub said:
“We very much welcome the launch of this important new initiative which will help immeasurably to drive forward efforts to promote wider recognition of the role good licensees play in supporting their local community. The provision of key services makes pubs the vibrant heart and soul of local life Hearing this first hand is the best way to get people to understand this.”
The campaign will also seek the endorsement of MPs, asking them to sign up to a short statement of supporting principles and they will be acknowledged on the website. Early supporters of the campaign include:
Hazel Blears MP (former Home Office Minister, Labour) said:
“I’ve always known that pubs are a cornerstone of their local communities. Over recent months I have been delighted to work in partnership with Beds and Bars, who have supported a paid internships scheme that I created which gives people from working class backgrounds the opportunity to gain work experience in Parliament. They have been fantastic in helping me support this important initiative, and I’m sure there are countless other stories out there of pubs actively working to enhance our communities.”
Greg Mulholland MP (Chair, All Party Save the Pub Group, Lib Dem) said:
“As Parliaments leading campaigner for pubs I believe that the licensed sector has a rich history and a great future in this country. This is down to the incredible hard work, dedication and talent of everyone working in the sector. The Outlook campaign helps politicians appreciate the value those individuals bring to communities and understand better how we can help you overcome the challenges you are facing. I’ll be sharing your experiences with my Parliamentary colleagues”.
Andrew Griffiths MP (Chair, All Party Beer Group, Conservative) said:
“For too long the debate about pubs has focused on the negatives rather than the positives. We have dwelt on pub closures and problem drinking rather than looking at the crucial and positive role that pubs play in our community. Pubs can be a force for good and improve the lives of those communities that use them. I fully support this important initiative to spread the good news about Britain’s pubs.
Notes to editors:
1. The Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers (ALMR) brings together entrepreneurial retailers and industry suppliers and champions the smaller independent companies that own and operate modern pubs, bars and restaurants in the UK.
2. Our members operate just under 11,000 outlets and currently employ 21,000 people in all regions and at all skill levels – from bar staff to managers of multi-million pound turnover outlets. Overall, the sector employs over 500,000 people and generated one in ten of all new jobs in 2011.
3. The ‘I’ve Changed My Outlook’ campaign opens a window onto the positive experience people have when they visit modern pubs and bars by inviting them to record a short 30 second video clip on their digital camera or phone and upload it to our special campaign website www.ivechangedmyoutlook.org.uk. The ALMR will be sending links to these videos directly to their constituency MP asking them to sign up to a public statement of support, endorsing three simple principles which underpin our modern industry, as follows:
I value the contribution that this industry makes to the economy and local community and support modern pubs and bars that are committed to:
- · Promoting a free and fair market
- · Rewarding investment in people
- · Recognising responsive retailing
4. Politicians who do this will be listed on our campaign website and they will be welcome to add their own 30 second video to the site. The aim of the campaign is not to target a specific policy measure or piece of legislation but to educate and inform policy makers and opinion formers across all parties about what’s going on in our sector today.
Kate Nicholls Strategic Affairs Director
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers
9B Walpole Court, Ealing Studios, London, W5 5ED Tel: 020 8579 2080 or fax: 020 8579 7579