I was invited in recent days to visit the Crown and Cushion public house on Wellingborough Road, Northampton.
I was welcomed by Alana Lineham who is the operator of the Crown and Cushion, and also her Regional Manager, Louise Hill, and Gareth James, the Operations Manager.
The pub has recently had an investment of some £165,000 as part of Stonegate (its management company) national investment programme, which has already proven to be a sound development, welcomed by staff and customers alike. An investment of this scale demonstrates the great determination shown to move forward even stronger following the pandemic, providing jobs and also a great social hub for many of my constituents.
The pub itself is enjoyed by hundreds of my constituents, and offers frequent live music, karaoke, a weekly raffle, and is a great place to watch live sport, which no doubt countless people took advantage of during the recent Euros football tournament. England’s successful run to the final incidentally proved to be a great lifeline for pubs following the pandemic closures, with venues being fully booked for many of the games.
The hospitality sector employs some 10% of the British workforce and about 5% of this country’s GDP and the pandemic has of course hit the hospitality industry, including pubs, particularly hard. I am well aware of the importance of pubs in our local communities and I have supported many local pubs in Northampton before and during the pandemic- and will continue to do so.
The Government has taken significant action by reducing the tax burden on the sector and its workers and stakeholders, which has included the reduction in Stamp Duty, the freezing of Fuel and Beer Duty and also the increase of the personal income tax threshold.
I also welcomed the Chancellor’s Budget back in March, where the Government froze all duties on alcohol for a second consecutive year. This helps to support the beer and hospitality industry– the cost of a pint was reduced by 2p and the cost of a bottle of wine reduced by 8p.
I will continue to support pubs and hospitality businesses, and I would encourage all constituents to similarly show their support.