Pubs are a British institution. Famed all over the world, the British pub is a community hub that has been a constant in our society for hundreds of years.
Wealden pubs are no different, serving our communities in the towns and villages across East Sussex - pubs are the original social network,
The response I received the Parliamentary Pub of the Year competition I ran over the summer was restatement to the value we place on our pubs.
Thank you to the hundreds of people who nominated their favourite Wealden local – in the end more than 30 fantastic pubs were put forward.
The Rose and Crown in Mayfield was the eventual winner, just pipping the Laughing Fish in Isfield (winners of last year’s Pub Chef of the Year Awards) and the Wheatsheaf in Crowborough.
Wealden residents voted and chose the Rose and Crown, and I was delighted to nominate it for the national competition – I know they’ll go far and I’ll be backing them all the way.
As an industry as a whole, British beer and pubs are hugely successful, contributing £23 billion to the economy each year and supporting just short of a million jobs.
Wealden is home to 78 pubs and six breweries, providing nearly 1,500 jobs.
Our brewers and vineyards are a key part of the British manufacturing base, making up the third largest exporter in the food and drink sector.
Our pubs industry is, therefore, worth supporting. In last year’s Budget, the Government announced a freeze on all alcohol duties, building on discounted business rates for pubs announced the previous year.
I have been working with local industry groups to build on this progress.
The British Beer and Pub Association have been doing excellent work promoting our pubs, and I recently met with them to discuss the industry and Wealden and what more I can do to keep our pubs thriving.
We love our pubs and rightly so - the Rose and Crown in Mayfield is a perfect example of what makes Wealden pubs so special.
Cheers to every pub in Wealden going from strength to strength.