Publican and model Jodie Kidd, today launches a new campaign for Long Live The Local to champion the important social and economic role that pubs play at the heart of communities in the UK. The campaign will celebrate that the pubs we love are back but also highlight that we cannot take them for granted. It will call on the Government to invest in Britain’s pubs and breweries through the reform of VAT, Beer Duty and Business Rates.
With pubs set to return to normal for the first time in nearly 18 months, new research from Long Live The Local reveals that almost 9 in 10 people (86.2%) have formed a special relationship in the pub – whether falling in love, having a first date, making a new friend or meeting their business partner – the pub has played an integral role. Over half (55.6%) of Brits think the pub is a great place to spend time with friends, while 41% enjoy quality family time at the pub. It’s a place where everyone can meet with over half the nation (53.2%) saying the pub provides a sociable and friendly atmosphere.
The pub has long been known as the place to find that special connection; where people have fallen in love, got married, met their best friend, found a mentor or reconnected with long-lost friends over a beer.
To celebrate the real stories of those people, Long Live The Local has renamed the Rose & Crown in Clapham Common to the Rose & Rory in honour of the couple who met there two years ago. Rose Maclachlan and Rory Chisolm, both 28, had been working for the same company for two months but only met for the first time in the Rose & Crown on a work social. The pair got talking after Rory accidentally spilled a pint of beer on Rose and have been together ever since!
Jodie Kidd shared a pint with the couple after revealing the sign in tribute to their love story. The Long Live The Local research reveals that Rose and Rory aren’t alone with a fifth (19.7%) of Britons first meeting a romantic partner in the pub, while almost a quarter (23.3%) have had a first date in a pub. Jodie is no stranger to a pub love story herself, favouring Tom Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers for special date nights with her partner Joe.
The pub has a role that reaches beyond romance to bring together strangers who become the best of friends, with over a quarter (26.7%) of respondents admitting they have made a friend in the pub. The pub is also a place to form business ideas over a pint with a third (33%) viewing the pub as a good place to spend time with colleagues. As well as social benefits, the pub sector offers vital economic support for local communities with almost half (46%) having worked in a pub at one point in their lives.
The great British pub is so intrinsically linked to the nation’s culture that nearly a third (29.5%) say the closure of their local pub would negatively impact them. 8,200 pubs closed across the UK between 2010-2019. Last year due to Covid, this accelerated with 2,360 pubs closing their doors for good. Pubs and breweries are one of the most heavily taxed industries in the UK. For every £3 spent in the pub £1 goes to the taxman. Long Live the Local is now calling on Government to invest in pubs and breweries so that they can grow and deliver even more vital social and economic benefits to their local communities.
Jodie Kidd, says “Pubs up and down the country are the heart of communities and play a central role in our lives. We all know someone who has celebrated a special moment at a pub, whether it is a wedding reception with family or a catch up with an old friend. No matter how big or small the occasion, Brits rely on pubs to provide a warm, comforting and welcoming space to socialise. We can’t take pubs for granted and that’s why I’m backing Long Live The Local to help our pubs and breweries thrive.”