The UK pub, hotel and bar industry is set to receive up to GBP20m in refunds after two trade bodies said that they have won a court battle against outlets paying fees to play music.

Total refunds are expected to be between GBP15m and GBP20m (US$31m), said the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and British Hospitality Association today (12 February).

Both bodies have today won a ruling in the UK High Court, which rejected an appeal by the agency Phonographic Performance Ltd for on-trade outlets to be charged fees for playing music.

Aside from refunds, the ruling will save pubs around GBP3m per year, according to the BBPA, which has spent GBP400,000 on the case.

"This could not come at a more important time for our sector as we struggle to come out of recession and will allow pubs to both claim a refund and pay less going forward," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

Up to 39 pubs are closing down permanently every week across the UK, BBPA figures show.