Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill


About the Bill

The aim of the Tied Pubs Bill is to improve the position of tied pub tenants by requiring the establishment of a Scottish Pub Code to govern the relationship between pub-owning businesses and their tied tenants and ensuring the appointment of a Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator to apply the code. 

A tied pub is one where there is a contract between the owner (pub-owning business) and the tenant, which means that the tenant has to buy certain products (mainly beer) from the owner at a higher than normal wholesale cost in exchange for rent of the pub (the rent is often set at a lower than market value).

In 2020 there were around 750 tied pubs in Scotland.

SPICe Briefings

SPICe published a briefing on the Bill:

Stage 1

Your views 

The Committee's call for evidence and survey closed on 14 July 2020.

We asked pub owners, drink suppliers and membership bodies to respond to our call for views.

Pub tenants were asked to share their views through our anonymous survey.

SPICe produced a summary of the responses received through the Committee's survey:

On 10 August, the Committee held an online focus group with pub tenants to explore their views on the Bill. The following anonymous note was produced to summarise the discussion:

Stage 2

Following publication of the Committee's Stage 1 report, the Committee wrote to stakeholders to invite comments on a number of outstanding matters.

The following letter was sent to CAMRA, GMB Scotland, Society of Independent Brewers, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs, Pubs Advisory Service, Star Pubs & Bars, British Beer & Pub Association, Hawthorn Leisure, Greene King, G1 Group plc and Tennent Caledonian Breweries.

Stage 3

The Bill was passed at Stage 3 on 23 March 2021


On 4 May 2020 Neil Bibby MSP, the Member in charge of the Bill wrote to the Committee regarding its consideration of the Bill. The Committee replied on 19 May 2020.

The Scottish Government provided a memorandum to assist consideration of the Bill on 14 July 2020.

On 11 September 2020, Neil Bibby MSP wrote to the Committee to provide further information on points raised during the Committee's evidence session. 

Neil Bibby MSP wrote to the Committee again on 19 October 2020.

On 21 October 2020, the Committee received a letter from Star Pubs & Bars responding to the points made by Neil Bibby in his letter of 19 October 2020.

Work by other Committees

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee reported on the the bill at Stage 1.


The Committee reported on 11 November 2020.

Stage 1 Report on the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill

The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills responded on 21 January 2021.


The Stage 1 debate took place on 26 November. MSPs voted on the Bill and agreed that the Bill could continue.  

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