Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 11:25am

Urgent change needed to stop PubCos' 'greedy' prices forcing pubs into meltdown, Rochdale MP demands

Urgent change needed to stop PubCos' 'greedy' prices forcing pubs into meltdown, Rochdale MP demands

By Ross McLean

Unfair demands and ‘greedy’ prices are forcing pubs across the country to shut down and regulation must overhaul the current model to save future business, a Rochdale MP has demanded.

Simon Danczuk and Mary Spence, who runs The Hunters Rest, which featured on an episode of Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, accused PubCos (breweries that own pubs but lease them landlords) of denting trade with inflated stock costs leading to high beer prices,

Ms Spence’s pub, which saw BBC Two Dragon Hilary Devey work as a barmaid during the show, could face closure after being forced to stump out hefty amounts to pay the beer companies.

"She has to pay a hundred pounds more on a barrel of beer because of the arrangement with Enterprise Inns that she's tied in to," Mr Danczuk said.

"She wants to work in a fair market and feels like she's locked into a racket.

“Even a great businesswoman like Hilary Devey would struggle to make a success of this business model.

“Everything is stacked unfairly in favour of the pub company."

This situation is not the preserve of The Hunter’s Rest with people running pubs across Greater Manchester and the country as a whole being put in impossible financial positions.

And Danczuk is demanding better industry regulation.

"All over Rochdale I can see Enterprise Inns pubs that have closed down and it's clear that this model is not sustainable," he added.

"The Pubcos are acting like an aggressive cartel and the industry needs to be better regulated to give pubs a chance of surviving."

Ms Spence, who says that despite ploughing all her money into the running of the pub and working 19 hour days, all proceeds go straight to Enterprise Inns.

"They don't give you any support, you're trapped in an unreasonable lease and forced to buy beer from them at over-inflated prices," she said.

"They're not really pub companies, they're property developers. All they want is their investment to keep growing.”

A spokeswoman for Enterprise said: "We work with thousands of successful publicans who recognise the benefits of the tied pub business model.

"It provides them with a low cost of entry, giving them the opportunity to run their own business, and they receive the investment and support of a national pub company.”

Picture courtesy of Richard Carter, with thanks

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