21 August 2020


(L-R) HU CEO Colin Neill, UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Anneliese Dodds MP, HU Chair Danny Coyles (Anchor Complex, Portstewart)

Hospitality Ulster has welcomed the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Anneliese Dodds MP to the North Coast for a series of engagements with the hospitality and tourism sector.



The Shadow Chancellor heard directly from a number of stakeholders from the sector during a roundtable lunch in Ballycastle earlier today.


Hospitality and tourism have been among the hardest hit as a result of the pandemic with many traditional pubs still closed across Northern Ireland and the need for targeted and ongoing financial support was raised with the Shadow Chancellor.


The challenges and issues which are facing the hospitality and tourism sectors as a result of Covid-19 and in normal times were underlined by representatives including from Hospitality Ulster, Hotel Federation, National Trust, NI Tourism Alliance, and the Taste Causeway Collaborative Growth Network.


The Shadow Chancellor also visited the Giants Causeway and is expected to meet with other business leaders in Northern Ireland during her visit.




Meeting with Hospitality Ulster and a range of other stakeholders on the North Coast today, Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer said:


“Northern Ireland is a wonderful place to visit and I’ve been overwhelmed by the friendly welcome I’ve received from everyone here.”


“But it’s also clear to me that the tourism industry here is really struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. The UK government’s decision to withdraw wage support across the economy in one fell swoop will only make things worse.”


“Many businesses are set to lose support before they’ve been able to get back onto their feet. The Chancellor must think twice before more jobs go in sectors like tourism and hospitality both in Northern Ireland and across the UK.”




Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster added:


“It was great to have the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer on the North Coast to listen directly to the sector here and to hear about the severe impact Covid-19 has had on those in hospitality and tourism throughout Northern Ireland.”


“On her first visit to Northern Ireland since taking up her new role, the Shadow Chancellor heard how difficult the past number of months have been right across the country and we were greatly encouraged by her support for the sector which contributes £1.2 billion annually to the local economy.”


“We welcome how engaged the Shadow Chancellor is to our issues right across the sector including on the challenges which Brexit will pose, the need for a reduction in VAT and targeted extension of furlough among others.” 


“We are all too aware that Covid-19 remains a significant threat and we all have to play our part to limit the spread of the deadly virus. With our traditional pubs still closed after five long months, there is an urgent need to allow these to reopen in a safe and controlled manner however, if this is not possible the Executive must provide immediate financial support to save many businesses and livelihoods.”