06 January 2021


Reacting to the announcement by the Economy Minister Diane Dodds on the further detail of the Business Support Scheme for non-food serving pubs, Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said:


“We welcome that the Economy Minister has now laid out the detail for the support scheme for our non-food serving traditional pubs who have been so severely impacted since the start of the pandemic.”


“The harsh reality is that since March last year, non-food traditional pubs have only been able to open for 23 out of a total of a potential 290 trading days and under severe restrictions at that. Those that have been able to survive this far have been lucky, many will never open their doors again.”


“This grant funding will be used to offset debt which has accumulated over the months and months of closure. The cost of having the doors shut, no trade, but still having to keep businesses alive has had such a negative financial impact on owners.”


“We now need the department to waste no time in getting in contact with those who are eligible and get money out to as many as possible in the shortest space of time.”


“The next step is the formulation of a recovery plan for the industry to make sure that those who survive these awful circumstances stand a fighting chance.”



Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced further details in regards the Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme.


The Minister said: “Our hospitality industry has been hugely impacted as a result of Covid Health Regulations and amongst those hardest hit are those traditional pubs only serving alcohol. These establishments have been required to remain closed for longer than other businesses and been unable to trade. The Wet Pubs Business Support Scheme will provide £10.6m in support to those drink-only public houses forced to remain closed between 4 July and 23 September when the rest of the hospitality sector was permitted to open and trade.


“Rollout of the scheme will now commence during the week beginning the 11 January 2021. Qualifying Wet Pubs will be identified by my Department from a list of recipients of the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provided by Land & Property Services.  My Department will be contacting them before the end of January 2021. Businesses will be asked to supply supporting information to ensure all recipients are correctly identified and minimise the risk of fraud and error. Once applications are verified payments will be made as soon as possible thereafter.”


The Minister added: “To help businesses understand how this scheme has been designed and the eligibility criteria, a list of frequently asked questions is available on the nibusinessinfo web site at