Shocking figures show pub closures up 60% on last year as rising utility bills and food prices put pressure on owners
- More than 150 closed in the first three months of 2023, an increase of almost 60% compared to last year
- Fifty-one sites were lost each month, compared to 32 per month in 2022.
Pubs are disappearing at an accelerated rate as soaring utility bills and rising food prices put pressure on landlords.
More than 150 have closed in the first three months of 2023, an increase of almost 60% compared to last year.
The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and for rent, had fallen to 39,634 by March 31, according to analysis of government data by property firm Altus Group.
That’s 153 fewer than the 39,787 recorded in England and Wales at the end of last year.
More than 150 have closed in the first three months of 2023 – an increase of nearly 60% on last year (stock image)
Fifty-one sites were lost each month, compared to 32 per month in 2022.
Pubs are no longer recorded in government records once they have been demolished or converted into homes, offices or nurseries. Last year, 386 locations were lost forever.
The British Beer and Pub Association has warned that average utility bills could rise by £18,400 a year from this month after the government’s emergency relief program is halted.
Ending support for non-residential energy bills will wipe out the benefit of property tax cuts, according to Altus Group.
The company’s Alex Probyn said: ‘Pubs saw their value before corporate tax rates fell 17% overall and, with the action taken in last year’s autumn statement , that’s £5,500 in tax savings for the average pub.
“But that just doesn’t make up for the loss of energy support, making the plots even more attractive for alternative investments.”
Kate Nicholls, of industry association UKHospitality, previously said: ‘For our members, utility bills have skyrocketed to become the defining cost of their viability.’
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