One of Manchester’s most iconic pubs is asking for donations from users to make sure it can reopen after the blockade.
British protection has served drinkers for hundreds of years and over the years has welcomed famous customers from Badly Drawn Boy to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But like many pubs across the country, it is now struggling to survive the coronavirus blockade.
Owner Mark West says The Briton’s has no right to any government help, other than the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as furlough.
As such, it is currently shelling out thousands of pounds a month to keep its two downtown pubs afloat – The Briton’s Protection and The City Arms.
“We have specialized staff, but I live in two managers,” says Mark.
“How long have we been going on like this? It’s hemorrhagic money.
“The City Arms and British Guard are both iconic pubs in the city center.”
Mark operates The Briton’s, on Great Bridgewater Street, as “market rent only” – meaning that only the rent is paid to the Star Pub & Bar owner, but alcohol can be obtained elsewhere.
As such, Mark pays higher rents than Star Pub claims to be able to differ for so long.
The government currently offers grants of up to £ 25,000 to hospitality companies if their taxable value is less than £ 51,000.
But British protection has a taxable value of £ 54,000 from 2018: a decision that Mark appeals.
He says: “Our taxable value is over £ 51,000, so we didn’t get any help. I am currently funding both sites.
“If these companies hit the wall it is a shame because they are the heart and soul of Manchester.
“Market leasing was specifically set up, so it was a uniform playing field. We fought for this tooth and nail.
“But these big pub companies seem to say” it’s your problem, you take care of it. “
“We have been told to close, I have created staff, I have received invoices from the choice because it is not an easy process. Then I have managers in both pubs live, so there are still bills to pay.
“The British didn’t have a penny and we were forced to close.”
Star Pub says that the rental of the market only the pub chiefs have “chosen to take a greater risk than the rented and rented pubs that receive more support from us”.
Pubs with an MRO lease have a three-month deferred rent until the end of June and have until March 2021 to repay it.
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British protection landlord Allan Hudd has launched an appeal to raise money to try and raise money to keep the pub after the blockade.
“We have been proud of our beautiful city for over 200 years at the service of anyone who enters our doors with a smile that offers more than 300 whiskeys and a variety of local casks and drafts,” reads a GoFundMe page.
“Unfortunately given the current pandemic like many others, we are now in very uncertain times and as such it may not be able to reopen our doors without the help of those we have accepted over the years.
“We have been an integral part of the whole city in both traditions with our connections to the Peterloo massacre and music. Being a flagship of the first career concerts of many artists, including Badly Drawn Boy, The Courteeners and George Ezra.
“We desperately need help from the community to make sure we can reopen as we have been unable to rely on our business partners such as Heineken-owned Star pubs who have offered little or no support and, unlike other small businesses that we have cannot take advantage of the grants provided.
“Any help is welcome.
“Donations will be used solely to help bear costs that cannot be negotiated.
“We welcome you to donate to our cause and in return we would like to reward you when we can reopen.
“We keep a Manchester institution up and running.”
Lawson Mountstevens, CEO of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “Those pubs that have chosen to run their pubs on a lease-only contract make up a small portion of the pubs on our estate.
“Our agreement with them is that of a conventional commercial owner as they have chosen to take a greater risk than the rented and rented pubs that receive more support from us.
“We are helping our pubs to rent only the market rent by deferring the collection of the rent for three months until June 25, 2020, or until the pubs reopen, and we are providing an extended period to repay the deferred rent. until March 2021. We are also moving from quarterly to monthly payments to help tenants with cash flow.
“Benchmarking shows that the support we have put in place for them goes far beyond that of other commercial landowners.”