The number of pubs ‘disappearing’ from the English and Welsh communities that they once served, having called last orders for the final time during 2022, whilst down 13.1% on 2021 levels, still topped more than 32 a month.
Pubs are grappling with soaring energy costs, rising food prices and weakened consumer demand with most pubs now taking drastic action to try and stay afloat and conserve cash by either reducing opening hours or going into hibernation through temporary closures.
Analysis of official Government data by the real estate adviser Altus Group, shows that the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 39,787 in December down 386 compared with 40,173 at the same point in 2021.
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Pubs which have ‘disappeared’ from the communities that they once served have either been demolished and/or converted into other types of use such as homes, offices or even day nurseries with a total of 2,663 being lost in the last 5 years.
Altus Group’s Ben Nelson said, “many publicans that I speak to are worried that this could be their last Christmas and really needed certainty about future support.” The Government’s current energy support package for businesses runs out in March.
Nelson added, “high operating costs and low margins make plots attractive for alternative investment and use so continued support is vital to protect pubs as they play an important role at the heart of their local communities.”
Wales lost the greatest number of pubs in 2022 with their numbers down 50 to 3,010 whist the West Midlands saw their numbers decline 46 to 3,933.