The number of pubs ‘closures’ from the English and Welsh communities that they once served increased sharply during the first 3 months of the year to 51 a month, up nearly 60%, from the 32 a month lost during 2022.
Analysis of official Government data by 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 39,634 at the end of the first quarter of 2023 to 31st March down 153 compared with 39,787 at the end of 2022.
Pubs which have ‘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. 386 were lost for good during the whole of 2022.
Pubs are grappling with soaring energy costs, rising food prices, and weakened consumer demand with landlords being forced to increase menu and drinks prices as well as cut costs as the Government’s support for non-household energy bills fell away.
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.”
The British Beer and Pub Association has warned that the average energy bill for a pub will rise by £18,400 a year from this month with the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ending.