Soaring energy bills force closure of 150 pubs already this year

Pub closures.
PA/ Pexels
Credit: PA/ Pexels

More than 150 pubs have been forced to close their doors in English and Welsh communities due to spiking energy bills.

The new figures have also capture the rate of pubs being demolished or redeveloped increasing by almost 60% since the start of the year.

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 from the total 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 as the Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends.

Climbing energy prices have been blamed for the influx of pub closures. Credit: PA

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.”

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