Pub companies: follow-up - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by JW Lees and Co (Brewers) Ltd

  JW Lees is a family brewery company with predominantly tenanted pubs in the North West of England. We brew award-winning ales and lagers but it is our tenanted pubs that are the backbone of our business. Without the beer tie we are advised that our brewery would be uneconomical. Indeed, we have never granted any fully-repairing leases to any of our tenants because we think that these sorts of leases are inequitable: at JW Lees it is fundamental that the brewer-tenant relationship is win-win whereby both parties succeed if a pub is successful.

  We are members of the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Inn keeping and the Independent Family Brewery of Britain and fully support the proposed code of practice that has been drawn up with the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations. In fact, it would mean little change for JW Lees, apart from the need for us to provide a more detailed shadow set of accounts for the business of each pub which would be a good improvement on the current information that we provide to prospective tenants: it will add cost to our business but will also allow greater transparency.

  You will appreciate the unintended consequences of the 1989 Beer Orders and we hope that the current review that you are chairing will not result in further unintended consequences for companies such as JW Lees.

11 November 2009

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