Pub closure rate rises by 50% over past few months

Pub 1

The number of pubs ‘vanishing’ from the market has rocketed by 50% in the last three months, it has been claimed.

Analysis from real estate adviser Altus Group shows that 50 pubs a month disappeared from communities across England and Wales in the three months to the end of September.

It said that government property tax records indicate that 150 pubs were either demolished or converted into other types of use such as homes and offices.

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Wales and the North West lost the greatest number of pubs.

The number is up 50% on the 200 pubs which were lost for good during the first six months of 2022.

The total number of pubs, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell below 40,000 for the first time to 39,973 at the end of June compared with 40,173 at the end of the 2021 calendar year according to Altus Group’s annual business rates review.

Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said last month’s mini budget contained “glaring omissions” given that pubs are grappling with soaring costs and fragile consumer confidence.

“It beggars belief that a self-proclaimed low tax government could allow pubs lose to their business rates discount next April as well as seeing any benefit from next year’s revaluation potentially wiped out by inflation.”

Until the end of March next year, pubs receive a 50% discount on their business rates bills worth on average £9,563 per pub although that support is capped at £110,000 per business and is due to end on 1 April 2023.

Overall business rates revenue is also set to rise next April in line with September’s headline rate of inflation which is due to be released by the Office for National Statistics on 19 October.

JD Wetherspoon has already warned that it is facing “a momentous challenge” to persuade pub-goers back into its bars after they got used to drinking cheap supermarket beer during the pandemic.

The number of pubs is based upon a detailed analysis of the Local Rating Lists in England and Wales maintained by the Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency of HMRC.

The Local Rating Lists itemise all pubs with a rateable value liable for business rates through a specific SCat code and includes those currently vacant and being offered to let.


End of June 2022End of September 2022Difference
RegionNumber of Pubs
East Midlands3,5903,582-8
North East1,9721,961-11
North West5,3445,321-23
South East5,7245,711-13
South West4,7034,684-19
West Midlands3,9513,934-17

Tags : Altus GroupPubs
Joshua Walton

The author Joshua Walton

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