BURY South MP Christian Wakeford has joined calls for the Chancellor to reconsider changes to a scheme which has transformed theUK's small brewing sector.

A joint letter signed by Mr Wakeford argues changing Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR) will put a great British success story under threat at a time when many businesses are struggling to survive.

SBR has provided the basis for growth and innovation in the brewing sector and means there is a small brewery in nearly every constituency, employing 6,000 full time jobs and contributing £270m to GDP each year.

Under the current system, small breweries pay a proportionate amount of tax on the small amounts they produce compared to global companies. Up to 5,000 hectolitres – around 900,000 pints – they pay 50 per cent of beer duty to the Treasury.

Mr Wakeford said: “Our small independent brewers like Brightside Brewery here in Radcliffe are a real success story. When I visited them during the summer they explained to me how key SBR has been to their growth.

"Businesses like Brightside continue to be severely impacted by the pandemic and now is not the time to be making changes to this scheme.”

Plans announced by the Treasury will see the 50 per cent threshold reduced from 5,000 hl to 2,100hl – meaning over 150 small breweries will have to pay more tax. Larger breweries are expected to pay the same amount of tax or less.

James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers, said: “SBR has been a great success, revolutionising brewing in the UK and allowing more brewers to start up and compete against the global companies."