MSPs form Cross-Party Group on Beer and Pubs

Monday January 17th 2022


Craig Hoy MSP (left) pulling pints at the Castle Inn, Dirleton, with North Berwick Coastal Councillor Jeremy Findlay (right).

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A Cross-Party Group on beer and pubs has been established by Members of the Scottish Parliament.

Craig Hoy, a Conservative MSP for South Scotland, will act as convenor of the group, which was constituted on Thursday 13 January 2022.

The group will seek to celebrate, recognise and enhance the contribution that the brewing and pub-related hospitality industry plays in Scotland.

Paul Sweeney, a Labour MSP for Glasgow, will act as the group’s Deputy Convener.

The Cross-Party Group aims to develop constituency-level awareness of the contribution of the beer and pub sector, develop an awards programme and encourage the recognition of local breweries.

The group will be supported by the Scottish Independent Brewers Association, CAMRA and the Scottish Beer and Pub Association. It will provide a forum for politicians and hospitality organisations to discuss policies that will impact the beer and pub sector and affect beer drinkers and pub-goers across Scotland.

Midlothian is currently home to 40 pubs and bars and 3 breweries, employing over 500 people in the area.

Forming the group, Mr Hoy said: “Beer and pubs play a huge role in Midlothian both socially, as meeting places, and economically, as job and wealth creators.

“I hope the Cross-Party Group will recognise the contribution of pubs and licensed bars to community life in Midlothian.

“The first meeting of the Cross-Party Group confirmed the purpose of the Cross-Party Group, the group’s office bearers, and the MSP and non-MSP membership of the group. We also took the opportunity to discuss some of the things the group could do in the coming session.”

Paul Sweeney MSP said: “Everyone has a fond memory of being in a pub – whether it is with friends, family or colleagues, they are often a source of joy for millions of people after a long working week. Not only are they a source of enjoyment, but also of employment for thousands of predominantly young workers across the country.

“The hospitality industry, pubs in particular, have been hard by Covid. Given their importance to local communities it is vital that they have access to support where needed. This could not be truer with the increase rise in Omicron cases that we are now witnessing.

“I’m delighted to take on the role of Deputy Convener and am thoroughly looking forward to engaging with those in the industry to see how we can support them after what has been a very difficult couple of years.”

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