A staggering 509 pubs closed their doors for good across the UK, according to new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA). The closures were attributed to “Stubbornly high energy bills, some of the highest beer duty in Europe and no VAT relief has forced hundreds of our pubs to call last orders for the final time” said the BBPA
The beer and pub industry currently supports 936,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes in excess of £26.2 billion to the UK economy and generating £15.1bn in tax revenue.
The closure of 509 pubs equates to more than 6,000 job losses within the sector.
“When a community loses a pub, it does not just lose the building and jobs, it loses a cultural asset at the heart of the community that is impossible to replace,” said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.
“In any local economy or community, pubs are an economic bellwether, and there is an obvious connection between the loss of pubs and the decline of local high streets.
“At the last Autumn Statement, the chancellor provided a number of measures to support the beer and pub sector. But now is the time to stop the rot, and at this Budget we need to set a path to secure the long-term sustainability for brewers and pubs with a cut to beer duty, a cap to the business rates multiplier, and a reduction to the VAT applied for hospitality venues.”