25 pubs a week ‘disappeared’ in past year

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shrinking numbers: about 1,300 pubs closed for good last year, with unfair business rates being a factor
Shrinking numbers: about 1,300 pubs closed for good last year, with unfair business rates being a factor

Related tags: Business rates, Business rates revaluation

During the past year, 25 pubs per week were either demolished or converted to other uses according to analysis from a real estate adviser.

According to analysis of Government data by real estate adviser, Altus Group, a total of 1,292 pubs vanished from the local rating list last year.

The total number of pubs liable for business rates in England and Wales has dropped from 43,066 at the revaluation of the rates, which came into effect on 1 April 2017, to 41,774 now.

Property tax legislation necessitated the pubs’ exclusion, meaning they were either converted for residential or office purposes, or knocked down.

Altus Group said the average business rates bill for a pub in April for 2018-19 had increased by 5% since the revaluation despite a Government discount.

Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 would be eligible for a £1,000 discount, it was announced in the 2017 Budget by Chancellor Phillip Hammond. In last November’s Autumn Budget, the discount was extended for a further year.

'Sad reality'

Altus Group vice-president David Shuttleworth said the Government needed to save the British pub by freezing rates next year.

He said: "The sad reality is that more pubs will continue to call time unless further financial support is provided by Government.”

“The Chancellor should be bold within his Autumn Budget later in the year by giving pubs a helping hand through an unprecedented stimulus of freezing rate rises in April 2019 while increasing the pub discount.”

The latest criticism of the business rates system comes after the chair of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) called for a complete overhaul​ earlier this summer.

Anthony Pender said the current system was “failing” pubs, with an “unprecedented” number of site closures.

Related topics: Legislation

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