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UKHospitality calls for temporary licensing relaxations to be made permanent

Published:  02 May, 2023

Following a public consultation, UKHospitality has called on the government to make the temporary licensing relaxations permanent. 

The consultation, which ran from 6 March 2023 to 1 May 2023, is currently being analysed by the government with a statement explaining the administration’s final policy intentions expected in due course.

The relaxations came about as a response to the pandemic when the Business and Planning Act 2020 provided easements which enabled holders of licences that only allow sales for consumption on-site to automatically additionally do sales for consumption off-site, without any need to amend their licence.

Three years later, the temporary licensing relaxation is still in place and UKHospitality believes the current arrangements should form part of wider efforts to deregulate licensing and support the hospitality sector.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “The introduction of these temporary measures during the pandemic were essential at the time and, as the sector began to recover, it was apparent that those changes were of real benefit to businesses as the economy slowly returned towards normality.

“They have enabled venues to generate additional income, increase footfall in local areas and support the growth of communities, so it should be a no-brainer to make them permanent. It would be a backwards step to return to previous licensing arrangements.

“I’m pleased that the government is consulting on measures like this to start removing red tape from the licensing regime, which can be such a burden for businesses. I hope this is just the start and that regulation ripe for change is looked at as a priority, in particular removing the costly and outdated requirement to advertise licensing applications in local newspapers.”