Sector Leaders Call For Urgent Support & Reform After Pub Closures Continue To Soar

A commitment to extend business rates relief is essential to avoid further pub closures, following new government statistics which show that 383 pubs were lost for good in the first six months of 2023. That’s the equivalent of two pubs per day.

Our Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the realities facing pubs. Businesses at the heart of communities gone forever, loyal staff losing their jobs and one less place for locals to eat and drink – this is the real cost of the economic turmoil many are facing.

“Even with rising costs and interest rates, more pain is set to come with an almost billion-pound hike in business rates next April.

“If the Government wants to back the nation’s hospitality venues, not lose them, it needs to urgently commit to an extension of business rates relief and a freeze in the current multiplier.”

“Inaction on business rates will sound the death knell for not just pubs, but other hospitality venues too, and that simply must be avoided at all costs.”

Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, and supporter of the Long Live the Local campaign, said: “These figures don’t just tell the story of the hard times pubs have faced the past few years but indicate what’s to come if the Government fails to extend the business rates relief and implement wider business reform. Since 2020 our pubs have faced a myriad of challenges, from forced closures to an ongoing energy crisis and for many the looming increase in business rates early next year will be the last straw.”

“Our pubs play a vital role in local socio-economic success all over the UK, but they aren’t able to do their very best work because they are under threat from unfair taxation through business rates and VAT, looming duty rises and extreme energy bills that are forcing publicans to make incredibly tough choices. Under the right conditions, our pubs have proven they are resilient, standing strong for centuries, but we really need the Government to lay foundations to ensure pubs can serve their communities now and in the future.”

You can support pubs by signing the Long Live the Local petition here.