Pubs of Ulster call time on Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade

Pubs of Ulster call time on Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade

20 June 2010

Local pubs are set to reinforce their contribution to the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector by uniting under a new trade body identity.

The Federation of the Retail Licensed Trade (FRLT) has announced that, from today, it will become known as Pubs of Ulster, which will be used as a platform to clearly position the distinctive regional offer available within the world famous Irish pub experience. Colin Neill, Chief Executive of the newly named Pubs of Ulster said: �The rebrand of the organisation as Pubs of Ulster is the first step in more effectively communicating the industry�s role in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector. Over the past 25 years, the organisation and our members have worked tirelessly to protect the integrity, prosperity and sustainability of pubs and have taken the lead in many initiatives to promote the socially responsible enjoyment of alcohol. We believe this is an important move to broaden the perception of the licensed trade beyond more than just a focus on alcohol and achieve an improved respect and recognition of the vital role that the pub trade plays in delivering significant economic contributions and a unique customer experience locally.� The licensed trade now employs over 35,000 people in Northern Ireland and contributes an estimated �1 billion to the local economy each year. The sector also plays a significant role in delivering a quality visitor experience to tourists with the latest statistics from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board highlighting that 80 per cent of visitors go to a pub and 70 per cent eat in a pub during their stay here. Sorcha Wolsey, Chair of Pubs of Ulster said: �Despite the challenges presented by the economic downturn, the industry has plenty to be proud of and continues to play an important role as the backbone of many local communities and contributes significantly to our heritage and culture. This should be recognised and celebrated and in the coming months we will be using the momentum behind the launch of our new identity to host our new look Pub of the Year Awards which will celebrate excellence in the industry. We will also be driving a consumer facing campaign to promote the character and nature of pubs and the unique atmosphere and experience that is available to the people of Northern Ireland and tourists alike.� With a membership in excess of 1,000, Pubs of Ulster represents over 70 per cent of the industry in Northern Ireland. Ms Wolsey stressed that the changes would enhance the organisation�s range of existing member services, adding: �For the most part the change is outward facing and will not impact the internal processes or structures of the organisation which will continue to provide support and advocacy services for its members, as well as retaining our commitment to social responsibility. It will however create new and improved ways of communicating to our stakeholders, including our new website www.pubsofulster.org, which will provide more information and resources than ever before.�