ONE of the major Lancashire brewers with Bury pubs has announced it is suspending the collection of tenanted pub rents until the end of April.

Thwaites, near Blackburn, has sent a letter to pub managers and landlords across the region.

Bosses want to give the tenants a bit of breathing space as the coronavirus is expected to decimate trade as people were told to avoid congregating in pubs but not forbidden.

The company has the likes of The Two Tubs and Help Me Thro', in Bury, The Grey Mare and The Oaks in Ramsbottom and The Dungeon Inn at Tottington.

In the letter, a Thwaites official said: “Having listened to many of you over the last couple of days we have decided to suspend the collection of tenanted pub rents until the end of April.

“This will give you the opportunity to use the cash that we are not collecting to pay your staff and other costs and give us some time to assess the full implications of COVID-19 on the pub.

“We will also be able to see the effects that your own cost mitigation plans have had, whilst understanding how quickly the Chancellor’s latest pub support package will make it to grass roots levels, as well as the payment of business rates grants promised in April and any further intervention that may come from government departments.

“We do ask that you continue to pay for stock delivered in line with your payment terms.”

Andrew Buchanan, director of pubs and brewing at the 223-year-old company, said: “We are doing what we can to support our pubs through this challenging time and suspending pub rent collection is one example.

Similar arrangements are understood to have been reached between the likes of Star Pubs and Bars, Admiral Taverns, Punch Pubs and Robinsons, which all have hostelries in the Bury, and their tenants.