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Press Release


CAMRA joins a host of leading UK business voices in backing a new “Thank Holiday”

  • The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) joins the calls for a new day in the national calendar
  • CAMRA joins a host of British industries including the CBI and UK Hospitality and leading brands including Siemens and Iceland
  • Research shows existing government figures overestimate cost of bank holiday by 64%
  • Campaign would make Jubilee bank holiday permanent from 2023

London, 26th April

CAMRA has today joined a host of UK business leaders writing to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to back plans for a new bank holiday as research finds existing government figures have significantly overestimated the economic cost of public holidays.

CAMRA joins business leaders and organisations from around the UK, including the trade bodies the CBI and UK Hospitality, brands Siemens and Iceland, and business leaders Deborah Meaden and Dame Carolyn McCall. Together, they are calling for this year’s extra Jubilee bank holiday to be made permanent from 2023. This would bring the total bank holidays in England & Wales to 9, still considerably lower than many of our European counterparts including Germany and France who have 11.

Research by PwC commissioned for the campaign found that the government’s existing figures overestimated the potential cost of a new bank holiday by 64% and failed to account for the positive social and health benefits associated with bank holidays. The research also highlights sectors particularly badly impacted by the pandemic – retail, hospitality and tourism – who would benefit greatly from additional economic activity.

Those backing the call for the bank holiday say the day would be a powerful way to honour the Queen’s service and recognise the country’s sacrifices through all the challenges of the pandemic.

CAMRA’s National Chairman Nik Antona said: “CAMRA welcomes the calls to introduce a new Bank Holiday as a ‘thank you’ to the nation. Bank Holidays provide a brilliant opportunity for communities to come together down at their local, boosting morale as well as footfall for businesses that have been hard hit in recent years. After years of the pandemic and various restrictions, I think that is something we can all say cheers to!”

Business woman Deborah Meaden best known for being an investor or Dragons Den, who is spearheading the call, said:

“The Great British Bank holiday is enjoyed by one and all across society. We all have fond memories of trips away, gatherings with friends, or just enjoying some relaxing time with loved ones. But it’s also a major boon for many businesses – especially those sectors that have struggled during the pandemic. I’m backing the campaign because I think it will be a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s seventy years of public service, and that of all the people who make our communities kinder, nicer places to live. But I also think the Thank Holiday will provide the country with a social and economic stimulus we need after a difficult few years.”




Notes to Editors:

Summary of research findings:

  • Due to modelling errors, previous government estimates likely overestimate the cost of a bank holiday by 64%.
  • The central estimate of the total cost to the economy derived under the PwC framework is £831m. This is before accounting for the positive social benefits (see below). It equates to £20.13 per adult or 0.04% of GDP. It could be further reduced to £786m if held on a Friday.
  • Industries particularly badly affected by the pandemic – retail, hospitality and tourism – would benefit greatly from additional economic activity.
  • Previous analysis did not account for the potential economic benefits of wider non-monetary wellbeing factors, a practice now encouraged by HM Treasury.
  • A review of the literature on bank holiday behaviour, wellbeing and community cohesion suggests that any direct costs would therefore be partially or wholly offset by aggregate benefits to wellbeing.
  • The report concludes that the negative economic impacts of a new bank holiday would be smaller than pre-existing evidence would suggest and there is strong evidence that any direct costs would be offset by wider community and wellbeing benefits.

Download the full research report and open letter here.