Palmers Brewery offers rent reductions to licensees

PALMERS Brewery is offering a rent reduction to its licensees, which includes four pubs in Lyme Regis, to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Bridport-based brewery owns the Pilot Boat, Royal Standard, Cobb Arms and Ship Inn in Lyme Regis, with licensees running the pubs to be offered a 50% retrospective rent reduction for March, and no rent charges for April.

The brewery said it has been “hit for six” itself by the effects of the virus, with brewing suspended for the first time in the company’s 226-year history.

Palmers Brewery chairman and managing director John Palmer said: “Over the past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the way in which our outstanding and resilient licensees have navigated an ever-changing environment and shown such ingenuity and community spirit.

“As a company, we have tried our utmost to keep helpful communication flowing. We have also put together a financial support package of retrospective rent reduction of 50% for the month of March before the virus hit; this package has been expanded to zero rent charged for April and will be reviewed monthly.

“We will not be collecting this at a later date, hence we will continue to support all our licensees during this difficult period.

“We are in this together with our wonderful licensee partners and hope that with our support, and their drive and determination we will all be in the best position to hit the ground running when safe to do so.

“As a small business ourselves, we have also been hit for six. Earlier in the week, we took the difficult but inevitable decision to pause brewing at the historic Old Brewery in Bridport for the first time in it’s 226 year history.

“With the exception of key essential functions, all Palmers employees are now on furloughed leave at the government reduce salary level of 80% to maintain job security in the long run. Nobody has been made redundant and we aim to keep it that way, as we look to the future and eventual return to normality.

“Our board and shareholders are leading from the front with substantial salary sacrifices too, and believe that it is at times like this that our family values stand firm. The Prime Minister has asked us all to ‘stand by our people’, and we have done exactly that.

“We are busy planning for the future and helping our licensees to work-up exciting new menus and reasons to visit to help draw you in when the time comes.

“A true West Country welcome awaits you as soon as it is safe to do so. Until then, please stay safe.”

As well as four pubs in Lyme Regis, Palmers Brewery also owns the former Three Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis, which has stood empty for 30 years. In February, the brewery released updated plans for a major refurbishment of the site. It is not yet known whether the current epidemic will effect the project.

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