The number of pubs ‘vanishing’ from the English and Welsh communities that they once served, having called last orders for the final time, increased sharply again during the second 3 months of the year to around 77 a month, up 50%, from the 51 a month lost during the first quarter of 2023.
Data from the commercial real estate intelligence firm Altus Group, shows that the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 39,404 at the end of the second quarter of 2023 to 30th June down 230 compared with 39,634 on 31st March 2023.
Altus Group’s pub tracker also reveals that, during the first half of 2023, between 1st January and 30th June 2023, a total of 383 pubs ‘vanished’ 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 compared with the 386 pubs that were lost for good during the whole of 2022.
During the first 6 months of the year, Wales lost the greatest number of pubs with 52 ‘vanishing’ with both the London and North West regions losing 46 pubs each.
Alex Probyn, President of Property Tax at Altus Group, warned of looming tax rises for pubs calling on the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement on 22nd November to act saying “with energy costs up 80% year -on-year in a low-growth, high-inflation and high interest rates environment, the last thing pubs need is an average business rates hike of £12,385 next year.”
Pubs, as with other eligible hospitality, leisure and retail business currently get a 75% discount off their business rates bills for the 2023/2024 tax year up to a cap of £110,00 per business but this is set to end on 31st March 2024.
Whilst business rates are also set to rise next April in line with September’s headline rate of inflation which could also add more than 6% to bills next year.