Shepherd Neame has pledged to waive all licensee rents for the duration of the Government closure period.

Last week, the pub co suspended rents from March 23, but yesterday announced the additional measure to further its support for licensees during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to the waiver, the group’s head office team has said it will offer extensive support to licensees in accessing grants and financial support available from the Government.

“We are working closely with our licensees during these challenging times, and want to offer every support possible to help them preserve the future of their businesses,” said Jonathan Neame, Shepherd Neame CEO. “Our focus is to protect our people, our pubs and the Company for the long term.”

To do its bit for frontline workers, the company has also teamed up with Copper Rivet Distillery to develop hand sanitiser in response to the nationwide shortage.

The sanitiser will be available from Friday (3 April), and will initially be distributed among emergency services and public authorities, including a large quantity for the Met Police.