Trade Organisations

BHA and ALMR to merge creating UKHospitality

A new trade association representing 700 operators across 65,000 sites in the UK will be formed by the merger

Two of the largest UK hospitality trade associations, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), are to merge to create UKHospitality.

UKHospitality will represent 700 operators across 65,000 sites.

The proposed plan, which will be voted on by both associations in separate general meetings on February 21, will be led by current ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls. It is not yet clear whether Ufi Ibrahim, current BHA chief executive, will remain in post with the new organisation.

Announcing the proposals, Nicholls, 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 to government.”

“UKHospitality will be that vital voice and I am relishing the prospect of working with members to deliver both strong and connected relationships with government and a shared ambition to reshape the future of hospitality.”

The new body will bring together businesses from all aspects of hospitality – pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, leisure parks, contract caterers, entertainment and visitor attractions.

UKHospitality said its objective will be to deliver policies to help the sector, to try and drive employment and innovation, and to support entrepreneurs.

Nick Varney, proposed chair of UKHospitality, added: “Hospitality is a prosperous and vibrant sector with great potential for further growth if the right policies are in place. We are calling for a new ministerial champion and sector deal enabling the hospitality sector to invest in world-class careers and customer experiences.”

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