Pubs forced to shut as storms hit UK

By Tony Halstead tony.halstead@william-reed.co.uk

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wind

Licensees across Britain saw trade badly hit by gale force winds and rain that swept the country last week. The biggest storms for 17 years forced...

Licensees across Britain saw trade badly hit by gale force winds and rain that swept the country last week.

The biggest storms for 17 years forced the closure of streets in several towns and cities, while collapsed power lines led to black-outs elsewhere. But scores of hosts defied the elements to keep their pubs open.

Preston saw its main thoroughfare blocked off forcing an entire shopping centre to close down. Licensee of the town's Moka bar, Ian Flower, lost £4,000 after closing on Thursday night and the following day.

In Manchester, the Grinch Bar was forced to close when a street was sealed off on safety grounds.

Licensees in the Lancashire village of Chipping were without electricity for 25 hours after power lines were felled.

"We stayed open with the help of candles and just made the best of things, there was a bit of the Dunkirk spirit about it all," said a spokesperson at the village's Sun Inn.

At the nearby Parkers Arms in Newton, licensee Kathy Smith gave up after several power cuts hit the area. She said: "It's fairly remote up this way and we did not think many customers would risk coming out in such dreadful conditions."

Blackpool licensee Adrian Clay, of the Litten Tree, said: "Trade was hit very badly in most of Blackpool's pubs and we had a very poor 24 hours of trading.

"We decided to keep open but advised all our customers to move away from window seats as we feared canopies could come down."

tips on claiming compensation

Forensic accountant Teresa Morrison has issued advice

on how to ensure pubs don't slip up when they claim

compensation for storm damage.

Morrison, of FAR Consulting, said: "Keep records and evidence of any factors that subsequently affect business, including invoices showing any additional costs incurred.

"You must also keep safe all accounting information

immediately before the interruption and as soon as business is up and running again.

"In assessing any loss of revenue, it is appropriate to look at how the business was performing beforehand and how it would have performed if the disruption had not occurred."

Most claims are expected to centre around structural

damage, trading losses through closure and damage to

perishable items such as frozen food. Power companies are normally liable if cuts in supply extend longer than 48 hours.

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