AS THE tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors across England prepare to reopen this weekend, Greater Manchester Leaders have issued a joint statement which sets out principles that will be adopted across the city-region to support these sectors.
Leaders have pledged to make the case to Government for more support for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors, but are also taking action in each of their own areas to ease these sectors back into life as safely as possible.
Joint statement from Greater Manchester’s Mayor and 10 Council Leaders:
“We know that Covid-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors and, although some activities will be allowed to re-commence from Saturday, many will not. Even for those businesses who can start to trade again, many in these sectors will only be able to trade with very reduced turnover. And with the furlough scheme changing we are aware that these are very difficult times for these sectors in Greater Manchester.
“We are committed to working jointly across Greater Manchester where possible to give these sectors confidence that we are fighting for them and will take every possible action to support them to come back stronger in Greater Manchester over the coming weeks. This will include continuing to make the case to Government for the support these sectors need, and taking local action to ease these sectors back into life as safely as possible.
“Significant action has already been taken during the crisis and we know that every Greater Manchester Local Authority is working hard in discussion with these sectors to support safe reopening. As well as local marketing and information we have also asked Marketing Manchester to support these sectors with specific campaigns on top of the wider business support available from the Growth Hub.
“We are also working to see what more can be done at a Greater Manchester-wide level, working together and with Greater Manchester Police to get licenced premises ready to re-open safely. We recognise that we cannot wait for forthcoming changes in legislation and are looking at what we can do to support businesses under existing legislation. As the Leaders of Greater Manchester’s 10 Local Authorities we will therefore seek, through our own decision making processes, to apply the following principles to make it as easy as possible for premises to operate in these new conditions whilst protecting public safety and remaining good neighbours:
- Greater Manchester Local Authorities will not look to suspend any premises licences for non-payment of the annual fee until 1 December 2020
- Greater Manchester Local Authorities will look to grant any new pavement licences for the maximum period wherever possible, that is up to 30 September 2021 (as per the Business and Planning Bill)
- Greater Manchester Local Authorities will look to agree to a minor variation process for changes of use in outdoor areas and for them to be “time limited” until 1 December 2020
- Greater Manchester Local Authorities agree that where the breach of any licencing condition does not create a significant adverse effect on the licencing objectives, the need for any enforcement action during the Covid-19 Recovery period will be considered sensitively and proportionally.
“To conclude – we want every business in these sectors in Greater Manchester’s economy to have confidence that we are determined to do all we can to support each and every one of you over the coming weeks, which we know are going to be very difficult at a time when other parts of the economy are able to start trading more freely again.”
Cllr Elise Wilson, GMCA portfolio Lead for Economy and Business, said: “I’m very proud that Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities, our Night-Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, and Night-Time Economy Taskforce have come together to co-design these principles. They illustrate the support we are determined to give our tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors here in Greater Manchester.
“The businesses in these sectors have been amongst the hardest hit and Sacha, alongside our Night-Time Economy Taskforce, set out the scale of the challenge we had to face up when coming up with this plan. Together I think we have risen to this challenge the way Greater Manchester always does – by working together and supporting each other. This can only be the first step and Government urgently needs to do more to support these businesses but I am hopeful the measures we have agreed across the city-region can start to make a difference.”
The principles that Greater Manchester Leaders have set out have been developed with feedback from Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, and the city-region’s Night-Time Economy Taskforce. The taskforce has engaged directly with business and their input has helped to shape the action that the city-region is now taking.
Greater Manchester’s vibrant visitor economy is worth £9billion and supports 105,000 jobs across the city-region. During the coronavirus pandemic Greater Manchester’s Leaders and the Mayor have taken steps to support these vital sectors through the coordination of business grants, alongside targeted business advice through the Business Growth Hub.
As the lockdown begins to ease, Marketing Manchester is now set to launch a new consumer campaign ‘Find your Space’ to help the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries recover and rebuild confidence in Greater Manchester. Local Authorities are also implementing tailored approaches to support businesses in their locality, with road closures, support for purchase of equipment such as outdoor seating required to operate over the next 6 to 12 months, and local marketing campaigns.
Article Published: 03/07/2020 15:32 PM