Over 150 pubs shut down in 2023 as energy bills cripple industry

More than 50 pubs are disappearing per month

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Tuesday 11 April 2023 15:11 BST
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Over 150 pubs in England and Wales have shut down in the first three months of 2023, new figures have revealed.

At least 51 pubs are closing down per month- a significant jump from 32 lost pubs a month during the whole of 2022.

Last year, 386 pubs were lost for good.

Unaffordable energy bills have given the industry a battering as the rate of pubs being demolished or redeveloped for other purposes has increased by almost 60 per cent at the start of the year, according to analysis of official government data by commercial real estate intelligence firm Altus Group.

The data revealed 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.

Pubs have no longer been recorded in government data once they have been demolished or converted to other types of use such as homes, offices or even day nurseries.

The figures come as soaring energy costs, rising food prices and weakened consumer demand pile pressure on landlords.

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 with the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ending.

In 2022, 386 pubs were lost for good

The end of the government energy support for non-households’ energy bills is set to wipe out the benefit seen from reductions to property taxes, according to the real estate advisory firm.

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.”

A government spokesperson said: “We have been helping businesses throughout the winter with £5.6 billion of support, enabling some to only pay around half of the predicted wholesale energy costs.

“Global energy prices have fallen significantly and are now at their lowest level since before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The new level of government support reflects this welcome fall in prices, but we will continue to stand by businesses, as we have done over the winter.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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