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SLTA News And Updates 31st July

SLTA News and Updates 31st July

Aberdeen City Council’s Licensing Board caps Annual Licensing Fees for the On-trade. Scotland’s original, independent brewery launches crowdfunding campaign based upon “Save the Brewery”.

Aberdeen City Council’s Licensing Board caps Annual Licensing Fees for the On-trade

Aberdeen City Council Licensing Board has decided to cap the annual fees payable by some licensed premises as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the Licensing Board acknowledged the exceptional circumstances experienced by on-sales premises in particular and have agreed to take into account the period for which those premises were unable to trade when calculating the annual fee payable.

As a result, the Board determined that the annual fee payable by all on-sales premises will be capped at two-thirds of the maximum figure stipulated by legislation. Each of the licence holders will receive notification of the amended figure payable when the reminders are distributed at the end of August 2020.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Convener of Aberdeen City Licensing Board said:-

“It continues to be a very challenging time for all of us during Covid-19. The Licensing Board recognises the difficult circumstances that on-sales premises, in particular, have experienced this year.

On top of the loss of earnings they have also had to fund adaptions to their premises which reduces capacity but allows them to keep their patrons safe and complies with the Covid-19 guidance issued by the Scottish Government. That is why we have agreed that it is appropriate that the period for which those premises were unable to trade is considered when calculating the annual fee payable. The Board agreed that this was one way in which we could help licensed premises across the city.”

In a communication to licensees in Moray, in relation to the annual licensing fees, the Moray Licensing Board stated:-

“Moray Council has begun issuing its annual fee reminder for licensed premises for 2020/21, which is due on 1 October.    

Given the difficult operating conditions for licensed premises in 2020 due to the covid-19 crisis the council is keen to give licensed premises as much notice as possible of their obligations to pay the fee.  Payment of the annual fee is a requirement of licensing legislation and is not something the council can choose to waive, similarly the council is legally obliged to issue invoices as an annual reminder.  

Chair of Moray Council’s Licensing Board, Cllr Gordon Cowie, said: “We recognise this has been a difficult time for licensed premises and enquiries have been made to the Scottish Government as to whether the law would be changed for annual fees but, to date, there has been no change. That means we’re legally obliged to request these fees, which covers the cost to the council of providing the licensing function.  “Our message in advance of invoices being issued is to say please work with us as we do understand the difficulties the industry is facing but we also need to continue to meet our legal obligations. Delayed payment of fees will cause additional administration for licensing staff and that will hamper our ability to return to the normal processing of applications.”

Time dictates that changes to the annual fee regulations from Government will not happen. However, it is within Licensing Boards powers to reduce the level of the fees and hopefully Moray Licensing Board and all Licensing Boards will reduce the level of these fees to help the On-trade which has been hit the hardest in the hospitality trade and is so vital to the success of local economic recovery.

Scotland’s original, independent brewery launches crowdfunding campaign based upon “Save the Brewery”

The campaign launching today will offer beer fans and supporters of local breweries the opportunity to either donate or support Broughton with limited rewards. 

The award winning Broughton Brewery, based in the Scottish Borders is launching a crowdfunding campaign with a number of exclusive rewards, including a Vintage Russian Imperial Stout brewed 20 years ago, and soon to be available in bottles.

David McGowan Director of Broughton Ales said:-

“We are launching our “Save the Brewery” Crowdfunding campaign, to help ensure the survival of our independent, award-winning brewery. Broughton has been proudly supplying Scotland’s on trade since 1979 and our appeal is to beer fans, across Scotland, the UK and Europe to ensure small, independent brewers like Broughton are still here in 2021 and brewing more award-winning beers. These are times of unprecedented challenge for the brewing industry with many pubs and bars still closed or operating at a reduced capacity. Normally at this time of year we would be seeing people out in bars or restaurants, drinking our hand-crafted beers and enjoying mixing with friends and relations. Our rewards, including pledging to buy our Vintage Stout and the planting of commemorative trees at our brewery, will ensure our survival and allow supporters access to very unique rewards’’.

For more information click here

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