Business

Guinness launches £12.5m fund to help pubs get serving again

CHEERS: Diageo Ireland marketing director Hilary Quinn pictured at the announcement of the €14m 'Raising the Bar' fund, established by Guinness to support the recovery of pubs across Ireland
Gary McDonald Business Editor

DRINKS giant Guinness has launched a £12.5 million fund to help support Irish pubs to safely reopen after the covid lockdown.

Diageo's two-year 'Raising the Bar' initiative will pay for practical equipment for outlets to implement new social distancing and hygiene measures, digital skills training and contactless technology.

It is part of a $100 million global programme to help pubs and bars recover from the pandemic and to support jobs and communities around the world.

And it comes as the hospitality industry in the north prepares to welcome back customers on Friday week after a further easing of restrictions.

“Pubs and bars, which sit at the heart of every community, have been hugely impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again,” Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said.

And he added: “We urge governments everywhere to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector, because these businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate, and sustain jobs, often providing a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”

By providing access to free digital support, technology, training and equipment, Diageo says the fund aims to help any bar, anywhere in the world, open its doors again.

Oliver Loomes, managing director of Diageo Ireland, added: “The hospitality sector in Ireland requires long-term investment and support to get back up and running.

“Not only has the financial impact to their business been significant, but they have missed their place at the centre of Ireland’s social fabric.

“It is more important than ever to work with our partners to create a safe and sustainable night time economy together.”

From today, bar owners can register their interest for the Raising the Bar at www.mydiageo.com and they will receive regular updates on best practice training and available resources.

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