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News & Press: General

Hospitality industry champions the High Street

09 October 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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150 hospitality business from across the UK will today assemble at Westminster to meet with over 60 MPs to champion their sector’s contribution to the high street.

They are backed by UKHospitality, the UK’s leading hospitality trade association, and the launch of its AIM HIGH campaign today. The campaign is calling for a digital sales tax  to help ease the impacts of business rates increases, doubling the National Insurance Contribution threshold for employers, a level-playing field for property and online businesses regulation and delivering a Brexit that allows the industry to meet its workforce needs without extra costs.

The hospitality industry employs 3.2 million people across the UK and contributes £130 billion to the UK economy – more than automotive, pharma and aeronautics combined.  It ranks as a top 7 employer in every region of the UK, ranking the third highest in some regions and accounts for up to 11% of the regional workforce.

New research by Ignite Economics, also launched today, has predicted that the sector’s workforce and contribution to the economy could begin to drop by 2022.  The report notes that recent cost pressures such as minimum wage increases, business rates, and a reduction in the supply of labour has started to take its toll on the industry.

In the least optimistic ‘bear case’ scenario the report suggests that there could be 312,000 less people directly employed in the sector compared to 3.2 million in 2017, with the economic contribution the sector makes also starting to fall from its current level of £79 billion.  The report also notes that with the right government support employment could grow by 66,000 to reach an employment workforce for 3.5 million and an economic contribution of £89 billion in the next four years.  

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said: “With more news of high street closures across the country coupled with the new findings that that the industry could see a fall in the number of people employed, our industry is feeling the strain of the unprecedented pressures it currently faces.

“It is time to stop talking and start taking action. Today we want to hear meaningful change from parliamentarians and the Government to ensure that we can all play out part to adopt and prosper from Britain’s changing high street.”

Ian Payne MBE, Chairman of Stonegate Pub Company said: “Pubs are the heart and soul of our high streets and play an important role in our social fabric and local economies.  Rising businesses rates combined with the one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe is leading to intolerable pressures on the sector.”


Notes to editors

  • UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
  • Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.

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