Overwhelming support from the Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers (ALMR) and British Hospitality Association (BHA) members yesterday triggered the creation of UKHospitality, a united voice for the hospitality sector.
UKHospitality will represent a sector that generates £130bn revenue each year, providing an voice to more than 700 member companies, operating 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 2.9 million people.
The new body has three clear objectives:
- Creating a tax system which is fit for purpose, reflecting the realities of business in the 21st century
- Secondly, a regulatory regime which allows the hospitality sector to focus on growth rather than red tape
- Developing the hospitality workforce of the future.
The board of UKHospitality will be led by Kate Nicholls as CEO; Nick Varney of Merlin Entertainments as chair and Steve Richards of Casual Dining Group as deputy chair.
Nicholls said: "The hospitality sector is at a critical point, with fantastic innovation, dynamism and enthusiasm across the industry, however, this is being jeopardised by significant cost increases and red-tape.
"The incredible member support for creating UKHospitality demonstrates our ambition to reshape the future of an industry, which represents 10% of UK employment and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer.
"I look forward to working closely with all members to achieve our vision and to give a sector of huge economic, cultural and social importance the voice it deserves within government, and to deliver the much-needed policies that will support its strong growth trajectory."
Richards added: "We are today reiterating our call for a dedicated minister to represent an industry, which is the third largest private sector employer in the UK. It is double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined."
For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here.
Have you registered with us yet?
Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.