Tony Brooks, the managing director of The Head of Steam and one of our clients has come out in criticism of the soon to be imposed Newcastle late night alcohol levy.
Tony had this to say about the imposed levy, legislation that will negatively affect both his business and all venues in the Newcastle centre, ‘The pub and club trade is totally against the policy. It adds extra cost for zero benefit to all licensed trade operators whose license allows them to trade after 12 midnight, even if they never actually trade then.’
He added ‘Our company has four licensed premises in Newcastle and three of them – the Cluny, The Head Of Steam and Tilleys Bar – will each be paying £1,259 a year extra – for nothing. The cost goes straight off any profit the pub may be making.’
From the first on november it will become a requirement that licensed premises authorised to supply alcohol between midnight and 6am will have to pay an annual levy of between £299 and £4,400 depending on the income on the venue.
There are other factors that affect the amount paid by venues, including whether the premises primarily or exclusively are used to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises. The levy will not apply to premises providing overnight accommodation, theatres, cinemas, bingo halls, amateur sports clubs, certain country village pubs, certain community premises and on New Year’s Day. Businesses who are involved in business-led best practice schemes will be granted a 30% reduction.
The Council in partnership with the Police are in the progress of developing such a scheme within the city, which will involve a Late Night Levy Board that includes representatives of the licensing trade. The levy has drawn criticism from drinking establishments all over Newcastle, accusing this levy as being a ‘location tax’ rather than a genuine attempt to curb drinking problems in the centre.