Sector could lose £35m in three months because of pub closures

PubAid, which promotes charity work by pubs, says charities could lose £25m that would ordinarily be raised or donated by pubs, and grass-roots sports bodies could lose £10m

Charities and grass-roots sports clubs stand to lose £35m as a result of pubs being ordered to close for 12 weeks to control the spread of coronavirus.

PubAid, which promotes charity and community work by pubs, estimates that charities could lose £25m that would ordinarily be raised or donated by pubs over the next three months, while grass-roots sports organisations could lose up to £10m.

The group calculates that pubs raise £100m a year for charities and £40m for grass-roots sport.

But the group said in a statement that many pubs now closed to regular customers were finding other ways to support their communities, such as delivering meals to those unable to leave their homes, providing free meals to pensioners and acting as coordination hubs for local community support for vulnerable residents.

Des O'Flanagan, co-founder of PubAid, said: "Clearly, traditional fundraising through events in pubs will have to stop, in line with government advice to avoid social contact.”

He said the speed with which so many pubs had changed their business practices in the face of the Covid-19 lockdown was impressive.

"We are only at the beginning of this very difficult time, but we are confident that pubs will continue to help people to come through it, offering practical, social and emotional support,” he said.

“Pub doors might be shutting, but pubs will find a way to remain a force for good in their local communities.”

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