Plans for new legislation to prevent pub bosses from being “exploited” have been welcomed by representatives of the licensed trade.

A number of publicans in the local area are set to gain new statutory protection after MSPs passed the Tied Pubs Bill last week.

Tied pubs are owned by pub-owning companies and large breweries, with tenants required to buy beer from the brewer at big mark-ups.

The new Bill, raised by Labour MSP Neil Bibby, creates a statutory code and independent adjudicator to regulate those companies.

It has been supported by the likes of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CamRA).

Paul Waterson, SLTA spokesperson, said: “It’s simply not fair that large pub-owning businesses can restrict pub tenants to buying beer at vastly-inflated prices and force so many to live in virtual poverty.

“As the bill progresses into law, we look forward to engaging constructively and positively with Scottish Government and all other stakeholders while the code is developed.”