Greene King slashes rent for struggling pub tenants during lockdown
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Greene King has confirmed a rent reduction for pub tenants until the end of the current lockdown — but called on the government to do more to support struggling landlords.
The Bury St Edmunds-based brewery and pub chain wrote to all 1,000 of its tenants telling them that they are knocking 90% of their rent in the latest lockdown.
This support will remain in place while pubs are forced to stay shut under government restrictions and applies whether the pub is offering takeaway or not.
The brewery said this latest round of support means that the amount of support it has offered to landlords since the start of the pandemic now totals up to £25million.
Wayne Shurvinton, Greene King Pub Partners managing director, said: “The great British pub has been in a fight for its survival since the first lockdown in March 2020.
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"We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our partners since that date and we are determined to keep doing all we can to support them now.
“However, reducing rents alone will not be enough and without further government support, pubs will continue losing money every week while they remain closed.
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“The latest grants are a good step in the right direction but with no date for pubs to reopen, they will soon vanish on other overheads and outstanding bills.
“Pubs need guarantees of further long-term support from government, such as an extension of the current VAT cut for hospitality and a continuation of the current business rates relief.
"As it stands, both of these would come to an end at around the point in the spring when it looks like pubs could finally be able to reopen.
"This could be the cruellest blow of all to hard-working publicans who reopen their pubs to welcome customers back in and suddenly see costs spiral.”
In total, Greene King operates around 2,700 pubs, of which around 1,000 are tenanted.
The brewery directly manages 41 pubs in Suffolk and Norfolk, along with a number of others which are leased or tenanted in the region.