Greene King Pub Partners has announced a further £6m of financial support for its tied tenants as they work to rebuild their businesses following the COVID-19 closure.
With the current rent concessions from Greene King Pub Partners due to come to an end eight weeks after reopening, the company’s managing director Wayne Shurvinton has written to all its tied pub tenants to confirm that a 40% rent concession will be in place for all tied pubs for a further four weeks after the current support comes to an end, then a 30% rent concession for the four weeks after that, taking support through until October.
Trade support for tied tenants buying barrels of beer or cider from Greene King will also continue through to 2021, with tied tenants receiving a trade credit of £35 per barrel.
This brings Greene King’s total financial support for its 975 tied tenants since lockdown to an estimated £21m, in addition to government support that was available earlier in lockdown for hospitality businesses.
Greene King tied pub tenants benefited from a 90% rent concession from 11 June up until four weeks after they could legally reopen. This was followed by a 50% discount for the next four weeks, with the new 40% concession coming into place once the 50% discount time period comes to an end.
Wayne Shurvinton, Greene King Pub Partners managing director, said: “Our partners have put amazing effort into rebuilding their businesses after being closed for more than 100 days. From the outset we have always said we will provide as much support for our tenants as possible and would make decisions in a fair and transparent way using all the available information.
“I’m delighted that we now have around 95% of our pubs trading again and our partners are currently trading well, thanks to making use of outside space and good weather. However, we recognise that the next few months will be challenging as we head towards autumn and winter and that more support is required, particularly as once outside spaces become less usable then the number of customers will be significantly reduced to maintain social distancing.
“We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our tied partners and provide them with as much assistance as we can and I’m very pleased to announce this next wave of support.”
Greene King tied tenants have received the following support to date which totalled £15m before this latest support announcement:
• All pub rents were immediately deferred for the entirety of the period pubs were closed.
• From 20 March to 10 June (first 12 weeks of closure) a Partner Support Fund was launched. One-to-one discussions took place with all tied pubs to understand their immediate financial situation so rent concessions could be targeted at pubs that had not been eligible for any government grants. Pubs with a rateable value under £51,000 were eligible for a government grant up to £25,000 to allow businesses to continue paying fixed costs, such as rent.
• From 11 June all tied pub tenants received a 90% rent concession that ran until four weeks after a pub was legally able to reopen, at which time the 50% rent concession continued for another four weeks.
• All the unopened kegs and casks that were out of date and unsaleable in pubs when they could reopen were replaced for free with fresh stock, at a total cost of approximately £1.3m + VAT.
• Tied partners also benefited from product discounts on all kegs and casks purchased through Greene King for the first eight weeks after reopening.
• Every single Greene King tied tenant was signed up to be a member of the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping), an independent body that provides expert advice on everything from legal and licensing issues to tax queries. Membership usually costs £155 per pub per year. This covers the next two years and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
• All partners received £250 of PPE support for free, as well as £120 of Covid-19 signage, plus the offer of free training courses and business support planning.