Diageo has launched a new €14m fund under the Guinness banner to help support the recovery of pubs across the island of Ireland.

Called Raising the Bar, the fund is part of a Diageo global programme to support pubs and bars to welcome customers back and recover following the COVID 19 shutdown. Raising the Bar will be a two year programme available from July 2020.

Through the fund Diageo will provide $100m globally to support the recovery of major hospitality centres including: New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, Sydney and beyond.

Diageo designed the programme following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they need to reopen after lockdown. Their top priorities included hygiene measures, digital support and practical equipment to transform how their outlets will work.

In Ireland, the Raising the Bar programme will be focused on the provision of practical equipment and confidence building measures needed for outlets to reopen and operate on a safe and sustainable basis.  Guinness will consult with the on-trade as to how best to direct future funding over the two year period.

As of 24th June 2020, bar owners across all of Ireland will be able to register their interest for the Raising the Bar programme via www.mydiageo.com. Bar owners will receive regular updates on best practice training and resources and be able to participate in global surveys to share insights, as they build back their businesses.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo, commented: “Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community. We have launched “Raising the Bar” as so many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again.

“We are calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector. These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something that we have all missed so much during this terrible crisis – and sustain hundreds of millions of jobs, often providing a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.”

Oliver Loomes, Managing Director of Diageo Ireland, said: “The hospitality sector in Ireland requires long-term investment and support to get back up and running. Not only has the financial impact to their business been significant, but they have missed their place at the centre of Ireland’s social fabric. Through this €14m Raising the Bar fund, our ambition is to support pubs in Ireland in welcoming back customers in the safest possible way, when they are ready to do so.”

The UN’s International Labour Organization has forecast that 436 million enterprises worldwide face serious disruption and one in six young people will be unemployed due to COVID 19. The hospitality sector will be one of the hardest hit, as pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants provide hundreds of millions of jobs for many full and part-time workers.

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