Almost 400 pubs to close in England and Wales by 2022

More than 32 pubs disappeared from communities in England and Wales every month in 2022 as heavy energy bills and staffing pressures forced businesses to close for the last time.

New analysis of official government data by property adviser Altus Group found the total number of pubs fell by 386 over the year.

The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and offered for rent, fell to 39,787 in December compared with 40,173 at the same time last year.

Still, the number of pubs closing their doors was a good 13.1% lower than recorded in 2021, reflecting a more resilient year for UK pub-goers despite the turbulent economic backdrop.

The latest figures showed that 50 pubs disappeared in Wales during the year.

Pubs have struggled with soaring energy costs, rising food prices and weakened consumer demand throughout the year and predict further challenges in 2023.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned earlier this month that venues have already cut their hours or menus to tackle these issues, amid fears that many pubs could be forced to close without further support, particularly on energy bills.

The data shows how many pubs have disappeared from communities by either being demolished or converted for other uses, such as housing or offices.

A total of 2,663 pubs have disappeared from towns, cities and villages in the last five years.



High running costs and low margins make sites attractive for alternative investment and use, so continued support is vital to protect the pubs as they play an important role at the heart of their local communities

Ben Nelson, Altus Group

Altus Group’s Ben Nelson said: “Many publicans I speak to are worried this could be their last Christmas and really needed reassurance of future support.

“High running costs and low margins make sites attractive for alternative investment and use, so continued support is vital to protect the pubs as they play an important role at the heart of their local communities.”

Visitor businesses were among those receiving energy bill support through the Government’s Energy Bill Relief scheme, but the current scheme only runs until the end of March.

The sector is shrouded in uncertainty about further support, with the government confirming it will announce its next plan to support businesses with their energy bills in the new year.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “The revolving door of ministers has left hospitality businesses in the lurch for months, with no idea what their energy bills will be in 2023.

“Hospitality businesses having to reduce their hours or close during their most profitable season is testament to the government’s failure to deal with the cost of doing business crises.”

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