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11th April 2023

BBPA responds to pub closure figures

Responding to figures (in embargoed release in notes to editors below) showing pub closures have surged in the first quarter of this year, Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“Energy bills are decimating our sector with extortionate costs wiping out profits and closing pubs at a faster rate than the pandemic. Pubs that were profitable and thriving before the energy crisis are being left with no option but to shut up shop. We have been raising the alarm for months that energy costs are posing an existential threat to pubs across the country and these figures are evidence of that.  

“It is essential that the Government intervenes to ensure energy suppliers are offering the option of renegotiation to pubs locked into unmanageably high energy contracts. Make no mistake, the longer this goes on the more pubs will be lost forever in communities across the country, something must be done immediately to save them.” 

Key data: 

·         After the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ended on 1 April the average pub would need increase its turnover by at least 11% just to breakeven 

·         Wholesale energy prices are, on average, lower now than they were in March 2022 but these wholesale price drops are not being passed onto customers locked into extortionate contracts

·         Recent polling showed 69% of the nation think pubs play an important role in bringing communities together

·         The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs  

·         The beer and pub industry adds £26.2billion to the UK’s economy each year

ENDS 

For more information contact Jessie Powell at jpowell@beerandpub.com  

Notes to editors: 

Almost 60% surge in pubs shutting for good in first quarter of 2023 

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA Deputy Business Editor 

This story is embargoed until 00:01 – 11 Apr 2023 

More than 150 pubs have disappeared for good from English and Welsh communities over the first three months of 2023, according to new figures. 

The rate of pubs being demolished or redeveloped for other purposes has increased by almost 60% at the start of the year as bumper energy bills have hammered the sector. 

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, dropped to 39,634 at the end of the first quarter to March 31. 

It showed that 153 pubs vanished for good compared with the 39,787 pubs recorded in England and Wales at the end of 2022. 

The data showed that 51 pubs were lost each month, accelerating from a reduction of 32 pubs a month during the whole of 2022. 

Pubs have no longer been recorded in Government data once they have been demolished or converted to other types of use such as homes, offices or even day nurseries. In 2022, 386 pubs were lost for good. 

The figures come as soaring energy costs, rising food prices and weakened consumer demand pile pressure on landlords. 

The British Beer and Pub Association warned that the average energy bill for a pub would rise by £18,400 a year from this month with the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ending. 

The end of the Government energy support for non-households’ energy bills is set to wipe out the benefit seen from reductions to property taxes, according to the real estate advisory firm. 

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.” 

About the British Beer & Pub Association    
The BBPA represents UK companies which between them brew over 90% of the beer sold in the UK and own 20,000 pubs.  

Our members include international companies, national and local brewers and pub businesses operating managed and tenanted pubs in cities, towns and villages across the country.   

These businesses are at the heart of communities and local economies and include family businesses who have been brewing beer and running pubs for hundreds of years alongside emerging brewers and pub operators.   

·         The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs  

·         The industry adds £26.2billion to the UK’s economy each year 

@beerandpub 
beerandpub.com 


For more information contact Jessie Powell, BBPA, at jpowell@beerandpub.com.