Newcastle Leads Way on Minimum Pricing

Two Newcastle bars are set to become the first in the UK to be licensed to sell alcohol at a minimum price in excess of a pound a unit.

Decantus (30-32 Grey St) and the Grey St Café Bar and Grill (77 Grey St/21-27 Market St) have been awarded a premises licence subject to a condition that alcohol is sold at set prices which equate to minimum price of 1.25 per unit of alcohol.

This is nearly three times the 45p per unit price currently subject to government consultation.

These prices have been agreed as a condition in order to maintain standards and to keep the street as the city's premier street.

The minimum prices will apply at all times during which alcohol may be supplied under the premises license and there will be no specific trading hours/evenings when alcohol is discounted below the minimum agreed price and used as a vehicle to attract customers.

This initiative by the city council, with the full cooperation of the applicants, is designed to maintain the quality of the city centre, control crime and disorder and improve health. It also seeks to end the availability of the most irresponsibly priced alcohol by controlling multi-buy promotions which lead to irresponsible drinking.

This initiative is not about stopping the sensible, responsible drinking which supports pubs as part of the community fabric, creates thriving town centres, and provides employment and growth. 

The measures are targeted explicitly at reducing harmful drinking and minimising nuisance to residents.

There is extensive and consistent evidence that increasing the price of alcohol reduces consumption, leading to reductions in alcohol-related harms particularly around health.

Councillor Henri Murison, cabinet member for quality of life at Newcastle City Council, said: "Newcastle is leading the way nationally on this issue and many other councils like us with a world class night life and destination to manage will follow in our footsteps.

"Government should take our lead by doing what they can to be tougher on the supermarkets, who have caused the crisis of low cost binge drinking. Only they can tackle this problem."