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Every year, too many of Scotland’s favourite pubs are forced to close due to declining visitor numbers and mounting costs. We want you to join us in protecting our country’s locals, giving the person that really matters – you – the power to keep iconic institutions open and get your favourite pints on tap at fairer prices.

Please help us change the law and protect our pubs by completing a short survey.


This will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete. Your response can be anonymous.


 In Scotland, nearly 1,000 pubs are what’s known as ‘tied’; an agreement in which individuals rent from pub owners, with an obligation to purchase alcohol from a particular brewery or company.

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Unlike free houses, this means pub tenants are sometimes forced into tricky deals of stocking only certain suppliers for fixed amounts, regardless of the (lack of) return. On top paying higher rents, they’re often made to purchase beer, cider, wine and spirits at inflated prices with limited control over choice – a situation that’s forcing more pubs to close and uncertain futures for those that remain.


09 January 2018

Overwhelming Support for Tied Pub Reform


Over 90 per cent of responses to a consultation on West Scotland MSP Neil Bibby’s proposed Tied Pubs Bill backed a change in the law.


The proposal formally lodged today would create a statutory Pubs Code to regulate the relationship between tied pub tenants and their pub-owning landlords and an independent Adjudicator to enforce the code. Tied pub tenants in Scotland would gain similar rights to those in England and Wales, with restrictions eased on the range of drinks they can stock.


93 per cent of consultation respondents supported the Bill, including 87 per cent who described themselves as ‘fully supportive’.


The Bill is backed by a broad coalition including the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Campaign for Real Ale, GMB Scotland, the STUC and the Federation of Small Businesses.


Neil Bibby MSP said:

“This proposal is about fairness, choice and jobs. Fairness for tied pub tenants, choice for Scotland’s pub goers and jobs in the pub and brewing industries. My Bill would reset the relationship between tied licensees and their landlords, giving tied tenants in Scotland similar rights to those in England and Wales, and it would make it easier to bring locally-brewed products into the tied pub sector.


“Too often tied deals are one-sided and uncompetitive. With a broad coalition behind the Bill and backing from an overwhelming 93 per cent who responded, this consultation has demonstrated very clearly that the sector has to change.


“I have now formally lodged my proposal and I am asking MSPs of all parties to work with me to deliver a much-needed change in the law and a fairer deal for Scotland’s tied pubs and the brewing industry.”


In a statement, licensed trade body, the SLTA said:

“The SLTA echoes the support of the majority of respondents to the tied house consultation who are calling for a statutory Pubs Code and Adjudicator in Scotland to give Scottish tied house tenants the same protection as their counterparts in England and Wales. The status quo is not an option and our message remains the same – ‘there is an urgent need to have parity with the rest of the UK’. It is totally unacceptable for Scotland’s tenant licensees to be left in the very vulnerable position they find themselves in.


“Tied pub reform will end the discriminatory, unfair and uncompetitive marketplace that tied house tenants are locked into and will reverse the serious negative effect on the economy, particularly local economies.”


Sarah Bellis, CAMRA Director for Scotland says:

“CAMRA welcomes the consultation results which show that an overwhelming 93% of respondents agree with CAMRA that change is needed to protect Scottish licensees tied to the large pub companies.


“Many pubs in Scotland are struggling because pub companies take more than is fair or sustainable from tied licensees’ profits by forcing them to buy their beer directly from them at inflated prices rather than on the open market. Licensees are further hit by paying above market value for rents and consequentially struggling to make a living, contributing to pub closures across Scotland.


“We therefore fully support Neil Bibby’s Pubs Code Bill, which calls for a powerful pubs code to govern the relationship between pub companies and their tenants to ensure licensees are treated fairly.”


GMB Organiser Martin Doran said:

“Neil Bibby’s consultation on tied pub reform has demonstrated the strength of feeling and the breadth of the coalition in favour of change.  The Scottish Government should now move quickly to support legislative proposals which can deliver fairness for tied pubs tenants, give more choice for punters and help create a more level playing field for Scottish brewers who, as they should know, are significant employers.


“GMB Scotland members working in the Scottish brewing industry certainly understand that a fairer tied pubs market will help to sustain good jobs in their industry.  MSPs, of all parties, should be in no doubt that tied pub tenants and brewing industry workers alike support these proposals and now want to see change delivered.”


Colin Borland, Head of Devolved Nations at the FSB said;

“Neil Bibby’s proposed Bill will give the pub industry the New Year boost it needs by giving small businesses the opportunity to be free-of-tie – meaning lower prices and more choice for customers and greater take-home pay for tied tenants.


“FSB is calling on the Scottish Government to back local pub owners, get behind the Bill and call time on ineffective industry self-regulation.”


Tough times for institutions across the country are made worse by high costs, limited choice for consumers and contractual disputes in their tied agreements. More and more tied pub tenants are falling victim to crippling restrictions, with inferior legislation and less protection than institutions in England and Wales.

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Scottish Labour MSP Neil Bibby is fighting to establish a Scottish Pubs Code, allowing greater protection and freedom for pub tenants in a ‘tied pub’ agreement with their landlord. We want to protect Scotland’s pubs and prevent any more falling victim to unfair rules – giving them the freedom to leave agreements that don’t work.




Give your favourite pubs the ability to opt out of crippling arrangements and let locals be run how they should be run.

Public consultation for the bill is now open until Monday 31 July 2017. Join the campaign and support Scotland’s locals.

Public Consultation Document as PDF

Please help us change the law and protect our pubs by completing a short survey.

This will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete. Your response can be anonymous.


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Provide Scottish licensees the same opportunities afforded to their counterparts in England and Wales

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Give customers more choice over the drinks on sale

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Make it fairer for tenants of pubs who have a ‘tied’ arrangement with large owning companies


Neil Bibby MSP

Times have been tough for the pub trade as a whole but many tied pub tenants can encounter additional problems, from the high cost and limited selection of tied products to contractual disputes with their pub company owners.

All of this can leave tied pubs worse off than pubs which have no tied arrangement, hurting these hard-working small businesses and restricting choice for customers.

Read More

The aim of my proposed Bill is to ensure that tenants of large pub companies who have a tied arrangement are treated fairly and are no worse off than free-of-tie tenants.

I propose to introduce a statutory Scottish Pubs Code to govern the relationship between tied tenants and their pub company owners, and a Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator to enforce the Code.

In bringing reform to this sector, I want to give tied tenants the ability to opt out of tied arrangements if they wish, and pay a fair and reasonable market rent for their pub premises. I want tied pubs tenants to be free to source and purchase products as they see fit and to have the flexibility they need to react to changes which affect their business in this competitive and often crowded market.

My proposal does not force an end to tied arrangements in the pub industry. If some feel that the tie is working well, then nothing need change. However, those who feel it is not working for them or their business will have the option to do something about it.

I look forward to receiving and reading your responses.

Neil Bibby MSP February 2017

Please help us change the law and protect our pubs by completing a short survey.

This will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete. Your response can be anonymous.

  • This proposal is about fairness, choice and jobs. Fairness for Scotland’s publicans, greater choice for pub customers, and an opportunity to protect and create jobs in Scotland’s pub and brewing industry.

    MSP, Scottish Labour
  • The SLTA are delighted to support Neil Bibby’s bill advocating protection for Scottish pub tenants. With more and more pubs closing in Scotland each week, it’s crucial the government takes action to protect tenants who are the most vulnerable operators in our trade.

    Chief Executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association
  • GMB Scotland supports the proposed Tied Pubs Bill…This intervention is not before time and our members will warmly welcome Neil Bibby’s efforts to bring about changes to the industry that can only benefit Scottish jobs and the Scottish economy in the long run.

    Scotland Organiser, GMB
  • CAMRA fully welcomes the new consultation that has been launched into the tied pub sector by Neil Bibby. We expect that it will paint a picture of pubs struggling to survive across Scotland, with examples of large pub companies taking more than is fair or sustainable from individual publicans’ profits.

    National Chairman, CAMRA


Responses to the consultation will be posted on this page.

Responses listed here are those received through the online survey.

Please help us change the law and protect our pubs by completing a short survey.

This will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete. Your response can be anonymous.

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Neil Bibby | 1st Floor, 4 St Mirren Street, Paisley, PA1 1UA | | 0141 889 0457

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Neil Bibby
1st Floor
4 St Mirren Street

0141 889 0457

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