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Tue 23rd Jan 2018 - ALMR and BHA to merge creating ‘powerful unified voice’ for £130bn sector
ALMR and BHA to merge creating ‘powerful unified voice’ for £130bn sector: Plans have been unveiled to merge the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and British Hospitality Association (BHA) to create a “powerful unified voice” to support the hospitality sector and “deliver its full growth potential”. The new body – UKHospitality – will actively speak for the UK’s third-largest private sector employer, which combined directly generates £130bn of revenue each year. It will bring together businesses from all aspects of hospitality – coffee shops, hotels, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment and visitor attractions. UKHospitality will actively speak for these combined industries on the big strategic, structural and regulatory issues and deliver policies to support its strong growth trajectory. Combining the expertise, experience and resources of the ALMR and the BHA, the proposed new body will champion the breadth of innovative and vibrant hospitality businesses across the UK, giving an authoritative voice to more than 700 companies, 65,000 venues and two million workers. It will speak on behalf of a wide range of leisure and out-of-home businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators. Alongside the merger proposals, the two bodies have released new figures emphasising the size, scale and importance of the sector and its continued potential for growth. The sector is forecast to grow 4.3%, generating 19,000 additional jobs by 2020. UKHospitality’s objective will be to deliver much-needed policies to help the sector secure that opportunity by driving employment and innovation, and supporting entrepreneurs. Kate Nicholls, proposed chief executive elect of UKHospitality, said: “This sector is a vital, dynamic economic powerhouse whose importance is clear in our communities, our high streets and our everyday lives. It is one of our fastest-growing, most productive industries and last year it delivered one-in-eight of all new jobs. Faced with unprecedented political and regulatory pressures, now more than ever it requires the strongest and most effective voice within government. UKHospitality will be that vital voice and I am relishing the prospect of working with members to deliver strong and connected relationships with government and a shared ambition to reshape the future of hospitality.” Nick Varney, proposed UKHospitality chairman, added: “Hospitality is a prosperous and vibrant sector with great potential for further growth if the right policies are in place, and a single, strong trade association will be ideally positioned to provide that support. We are calling for a new ministerial champion and sector deal enabling the hospitality sector to invest in world-class careers and customer experiences.” Steve Richards, proposed deputy chairman of UKHospitality, said: “A single strong voice for this vital and important sector will create a powerful platform for the changes we need on tax, people, property and regulation for UK hospitality to really thrive, drive jobs growth and cement its position as a leading industry globally.” The proposed UKHospitality board is Wendy Bartlett, of Bartlett Mitchell; Steve Cassidy, of Hilton; Grant Hearn, of Amaris Hospitality; Bob Ivell, of Mitchells & Butlers; Simon Jones, of Premier Inn; Dermot King, of Bourne Leisure; Peter Marks, of The Deltic Group; Ranjit Mathrani, of Masala World; Calum Ross, of Loch Melfort; Robin Rowland, of YO! Sushi; Alex Salussolia, of Glendola Leisure; Damian Walsh, of CGA; and Paul Wigham, of All Our Bars. The proposals have been recommended to members and an extraordinary general meeting will be held in February to approve them.


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