Thousands of pubs will be on the brink of collapse following the exorbitant energy price hikes that are imminent, the British Beer and Pub Association has warned in a letter to prime ministerial candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.
Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive of the 3,100-strong pub chain Greene King, said: “While the government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn,” Mackenzie said.
“Without immediate government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted.”
The letter added: “Across our businesses we are witnessing price rises which are causing irreversible damage. Hikes can now be upwards of 300% on pre-pandemic energy bills, with the current average increase around 150% across the beer and pub sector, putting jobs and businesses at risk. As more fixed price contracts come up for renewal this is only worsening.
“The time to act is now.
“A recent report from one licensee of a small community pub was of a £33,000 increase on their previous year’s energy costs. This is one of countless examples of stark energy quotes. These figures when compared to a venues profitability simply do not add up. Without swift and substantial intervention from Government there is no doubt we will witness a huge number of pubs close their doors for good, leaving individuals without jobs during a cost-ofliving crisis and communities without its social heartbeat.”
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