Home Breaking News 80 pubs a month call last orders amid ‘continuing high costs of doing business’

80 pubs a month call last orders amid ‘continuing high costs of doing business’

17th Jun 24 8:37 am

Official new figures show that in the three months to 31 March 239 pubs were converted for other use or were demolished across England and Wales.

There is a 56% increase in the closure of pubs to 80 each month compared to 51 in the first three months of 2023.

Commercial real estate specialists at Altus Group data shows that to the end of March 39,162 pubs were vacant or being offered to let, compared to 39,401 last year.

Pub and brewery chiefs called on the political parties to cut beer duty and business rates ahead of the upcoming general election.

Alex Probyn, president of property tax at Altus Group, said, “The fundamental issue for business is not necessarily the system but how much tax it actually generates.

“It is a tax that has risen 49% during the last 14 years with business, across all sectors, now paying £9.48 billion a year more than in 2010.

“Whilst the pledges are welcome to drive down bills permanently for the high street, business had hoped for more detail and a timeframe in achieving this.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said, “The pub closure figures for the first quarter of this year are a reflection of the continuing high costs of doing business, especially with factors like high energy costs and food and drink inflation remaining higher than the topline inflation rate.

“Trading conditions have also not been helped with the varied weather than we have experienced, and in addition, with £1 out of every £3 being spent in pubs going directly to the taxman, the tax burden with which the beer and pub sector must grapple is another cost component which squeezes margin.

“Last week saw the publication of the various party manifestos with the parties making different pledges to reform business rates, which combine with previous promises to recognise the importance of the sector for communities and the wider economy.

“It is for this reason why it will be essential that the next Government puts in place a fiscal and regulatory framework that makes sure that the sector does not survive, but thrives.”

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