UKHospitality has called on the Government to deliver a package of support for hospitality.
The trade body has warned that job losses and business failures will be an inevitability unless support is immediate and wide-ranging.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “These restrictions are a further, potentially fatal, blow for many hospitality businesses. In isolation, they may appear moderate, but the cumulative effect is going to be hugely damaging. Consumer confidence is going to take another hit and we cannot hope to recover while confidence remains low.
“The shift back towards working from home is going to hit city centre hospitality very hard. These businesses have already lagged behind as office workers and tourists have stayed away and they are going to take another battering.
“Most disheartening is the announcement that they are potentially in place for six months. Lots of businesses will not survive this and we are going to see more and more people lose their jobs unless we have the support to counterbalance these restrictions.
“The Government must immediately announce an exhaustive package of financial support, otherwise our sector is facing ruin. Employment support must be extended. The furlough scheme is already wining down and it comes to a complete halt at the end of October. Unless it is extended for our sector, businesses are inevitably going to have to make staff redundant. We are looking at a steady stream of job losses for six months, otherwise.
“We also must have longer-term support to enable businesses to rebuild in 2021. The VAT cut for the sector must be extended as must the business rates holiday. We also need a rent-debt settlement package, otherwise whole businesses are going to go under with widespread redundancies.”
Meanwhile Robyn Isherwood, the founder of the UK’s first purpose built social distancing festival Gisburne Park Pop Up has called for a long term strategy that prepares for the worst in order to protect businesses and jobs.
“The events and hospitality industries are crucial not only to the UK economy, but also to the nation’s wellbeing. With both industries on the brink of collapse we urgently need a long term strategy from the Government that can allow businesses to plan and adapt for the winter months and into 2021.
“By preparing for the worst but planning for the best, we can develop covid-safe business propositions. Businesses are incredibly creative – for example we transformed our luxury wedding venue into the UK’s first social distancing festival – and we have to accept this new reality. We know that normal is over, but we need clarity on what this new reality means in the long term in order to plan, innovate and protect jobs”.
Located in the picturesque Ribble Valley in Lancashire, Gisburne Park Pop Up is the UK’s first purpose built social distancing festival. Having launched early July, they have to date welcomed 30,000 festival goers over 11 weeks, creating 100 jobs. The festival was such a success, it extended for an additional month into September.
With all major UK festivals and events cancelled this summer, the Gisburne Park Pop-Up is reimagining the outdoor entertainment experience while observing the latest social distancing guidelines. Guests will book their own individual hexagonal pitches, each large enough for a social bubble of six and spaced 2.6m apart. Designated bar-to-pitch service brings delicious food and single serve drinks directly to the customer eliminating the need to queue; whilst a sophisticated one-way system ensures festival-goers can make their way around the 10-acre site with a minimum of 2m physical distance between other guests.