More Than 900 UK Pubs Closed Their Doors In 2018

Almost 1,000 pubs closed their doors in the UK in 2018 as the industry was affected by the increased costs and business rate increases.

In total 914 pubs disappeared last year according to data from company Altus Group in its annual review.

About 76 pubs vanished each month during the year, following a trend which has resulted in the number of pubs falling from more than 54,000 to 43,000 between 2010 and 2017.

Pubs face a triple whammy of increased taxes from the high Beer Duty, VAT and business rates which are making some of them unsustainable.

Industry group the Campaign for Real Ale said: “Pubs currently pay 2.8% of the business rates bill but only account for 0.5% of total business turnover, which is an overpayment of around £500m by the sector each year.”

The chief executive of UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, said: “Pubs are being hit with a myriad of cost pressures at a time of unprecedented political uncertainty and unstable consumer confidence. Unless positive action is taken by the government to address crippling costs, more pubs will be forced out of business.”

The president of Altus Group, Alex Probyn, said: “The increase in the thresholds at which businesses, such as pubs, pay business rates coupled with the pubs discount during the last two financial years has helped ease the decline. The new retail discount, which slashed rates bills by a third for high street firms with a rateable value less than £51,000 from 1 April, will help independent licensees in small premises and hopefully will stem the decline even further.”

A government spokesman said: “The great British pub has been at the heart of most communities for generations and they support thousands of jobs. We recently announced £188,000 for our Pub is the Hub programme to provide advice and support for rural pubs to help them diversify and expand their offer to customers.

“We have also slashed business rates by a third for the majority of smaller business, including eligible pubs.”