A CAMPAIGN for a return to traditional pub and nightclub trading hours has been launched in Glasgow, amid growing concern that intense price competition between operators is fuelling binge drinking in the city late at night. Operators are lobbying the city’s licensing board, the police and council leaders for the restoration of the midnight and 3am closing times for pubs and clubs, which largely prevailed until the 2005 licensing Act replaced seven licence types with the single premises licence in 2009.
GLASGOW’S hotels, bars and restaurants enjoyed a bumper spin-off from London 2012 as sports fans flocked to the city to catch the Olympic football action at Hampden. Hotel occupancy rates on the night the first of eight games played at the national stadium reached a record 96%, compared to 90% and 81% on the same day in the previous two years, according to figures quoted by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.
ON the day Sir Chris Hoy took his second gold medal at London 2012, making him the most successful British Olympian ever, a brewery in the cyclist’s home city was celebrating a gold medal of its own. Embra, the 5% ABV amber beer from Stewart Brewing, was named Champion Bottled Beer of Britain at this year’s CAMRA Great British Beer Festival in London on August 7.
Pubs in Peterhead are hoping for a trade bonanza when followers of the reborn Rangers come calling this weekend. Operators in the north east town are gearing up for a busy day on Saturday when Peterhead FC host the Ibrox side’s first match in division three. They’re pinning their hopes on a cash boost similar to that enjoyed by the local economy in Brechin when Rangers fans descended for the Ramsdens Cup match on July 29.
The boss of Glasgow’s five-star Blythswood Square has spoken of his satisfaction at the steady progress made by the hotel – but warned that trading conditions remain tough. The hotel, part of Peter Taylor’s Town House Collection, is performing well as it nears the end of its second full-year of trading, after reporting profits of just under £1 million for the year to October 31, 2011.
Operators in Scotland worried about maintaining payments on business loans have been urged to get in touch with a growing campaign group. Bully Banks was set up by SME owners last year to spearhead complaints against the major banks over their conduct in selling interest-rate swap agreements (IRSAs).
THE Scottish Government has been backed to see off a two-part legal challenge to its new minimum pricing legislation. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) confirmed last week that it’s taking action against the controversial policy in the Scottish and European courts. But leading licensees’ group the SLTA said the action only delays the inevitable, claiming that “the moral argument will outweigh the business argument” in the forthcoming courtroom battles.
ONE of the country’s leading licensing experts has questioned new research exploring the link between crime and the availability of alcohol. Solicitor Jack Cummins believes the research, undertaken by academics at Glasgow University, underestimates the power licensing boards have at their disposal. The study, which examined the impact of regeneration on disadvantaged communities in Glasgow, found a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood.
DUNDEE operators are looking forward to a cash windfall in the wake of the storm engulfing Scottish football. While many pubs across the country, particularly in Glasgow and the west, are expecting to see footfall drop due to Rangers’ absence from the SPL, their counterparts in Tayside are hoping income will climb in the opposite direction.
Pubs and nightclubs in Scotland are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs as part of its latest crackdown on tax dodgers across the UK. Taskforces have been set up to lead “intensive bursts of activity” in what HMRC described as “specific high risk trade sectors” as it seeks to recover £30 million in unpaid taxes.