Pubs across Swindon could stay open for longer if a proposed change to licensing rules goes ahead.

Plans under consultation by the government would mean that pubs will be allowed to sell alcohol until 1am, rather than 11pm as currently, should England reach the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

It would also apply if Scotland or Wales, the other home nations competing in the tournament which starts on June 14, reach the last four.

The move has been welcomed by publicans in Swindon.

Elly Griffiths, assistant manager at The Steam Railway, said: “I think it is a good idea because people love to come to the pub rather than watching it at home where you don't get the same atmosphere.

Swindon Advertiser:

“It’s the community of it. Everyone is cheering for the same team, everyone wants it to come home.

“The atmosphere in here is incredible when there is a game on. We try to replicate the experience of actually being there as much as possible.”

General manager Steve Griffiths agreed, adding: “It will be mental and completely electric.”

Although the pub has a licence to stay open until 2am on the weekends, the ability to stay open later for the semi-finals, which are scheduled to take place on weekdays, has been welcomed.

The Steam Railway attracted 360 people for the men's Euros in 2021 and 650 for the 2022 World Cup.

Swindon Advertiser: Steve Griffiths of The Steam Railway CoSteve Griffiths of The Steam Railway Co (Image: Newsquest)


Nick Lee, landlord of the Tawny Owl, said: “Any extension of opening hours if it is going to be advantageous to pubs in the area is going to be useful.

“Pubs are absolutely important for bringing people together. The pub is the heart of the community.

“It is very much a hub and place for families to get together.”

The first match between Germany and Scotland will be held in Munich on June 14, at 8pm and shown live on ITV, with other games shown on that channel and on the BBC.

CAMRA and UK Hospitality have also welcomed the proposals, with CAMRA Pub and Club Campaigns Director Gary Timmins stating: “Cheering on your team, in the atmosphere of the pub, surrounded by friends and local community is an experience that cannot be had anywhere else.  

“CAMRA believes that your local pub, social club or taproom is the best place to drink real ale, cider and perry, not simply for the social experience but also due to the staff and licensees who run these venues.”