The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has outlined to Government the value of pubs to high streets, saying they create jobs, boost tourism and provide affordable hospitality. It came in a submission for the Government-commissioned review of the high street conducted by TV celebrity and retail guru Mary Portas, as part of the Government’s wider Growth Review. Its hoped the review will prompt local authorities to use their current planning powers to favour pubs on the high street. The BBPA’s four-page submission argues that licensed venues were “integral” to regeneration in town centres after the last major recession in the 1980s, “and provided a base upon which to rebuild local economies”. The submission lists four key ways in which pubs can help high streets: by kick-starting regeneration schemes, providing affordable leisure opportunities, creating locally-based full and part time jobs, and attracting tourists. The submission also highlights how responsible the industry is, with initiatives such as pubwatch, Best Bar None, the Proof of Age Standards Scheme and Challenge 21. It says the “vast majority” of pubs and other licensed premises are “orderly, well-run venues” that promote public safety under one of the Licensing Act objectives. And the trade has become “increasingly professional” over the past 20 years thanks to more training headed by the BII and guidance from groups such as the BBPA. In addition: “There has never been a greater range of powers available to tackle irresponsible operators.” It urges the Government to do more to recognise and help partnership efforts from the industry, supporting schemes such as Business Improvement Districts. According to the BBPA, about 12% of pubs, roughly 6,000 venues, are located in town centres. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Pubs have a vital role to play in a vibrant high street. They are vital to tourism and hospitality, and often occupy historic buildings or have taken over retail sites that could otherwise have turned into eyesores. “Pubs also have a great track record of adapting to meet customers’ needs – look at the huge growth in pub food, the great value to be had, and also the way pubs are investing in state of the art coffee machines. “It is important that pubs are seen to be at the heart of this review.”