Cost of living crisis: More than 150 pubs forced to close in England and Wales since the start of the year
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Over 150 pubs have been forced to shut in England and Wales due to rising energy bills. New figures have also captured the rate of pubs being demolished or redeveloped increasing by almost 60 per cent since the start of 2023.
The figures come courtesy of official government data, which was analysed by real estate intelligence firm Altus Group. It shows that the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, dropped to 39,634 at the end of the first quarter to March 31.
Data also showed that in 2023, pubs have been lost at a rate of 51 per month, which is a sharp jump from the 32 lost each month in 2022, with the previous year seeing 386 pubs lost for good.
The figures come amid rising costs for landlords and weakened consumer demand. According to ITV, The British Beer and Pub Association warned that the average energy bill for a pub would rise by £18,400 a year from this month (April) as the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends.
Speaking to ITV, Alex Probyn, president of property tax at Altus Group, said “Pubs have seen their values for the business rates tax fall 17% overall and, with measures taken at last year’s Autumn Statement, that will mean a tax saving of £5,500 for the average pub.
“But that simply won’t compensate for the energy support being lost, making plots even more attractive for alternative investment.”