Estimated 2,500 pubs lost in 2020

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Number increase: 2,500 pubs closing is more than double the number of venues shutting their doors than in previous years
Number increase: 2,500 pubs closing is more than double the number of venues shutting their doors than in previous years

Related tags: Closure, British beer & pub association, Emma McClarkin, Tom kerridge, Ed Bedington, Social media

More than 2,000 pubs have been lost this year, over double the number in previous years, it has been estimated.

The lockdowns and restrictions have meant pubs have closed for long periods of time and then had to operate with strict measures in place when reopening.

During an Instagram Live last night (Tuesday 8 December), The Morning Advertiser ​editor Ed Bedington, British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin and celebrity chef and pub operator Tom Kerridge highlighted the plight of pubs amid the coronavirus crisis.

Kerridge asked how many pubs had been lost due to the pandemic so far, to which McClarkin estimated it was about 5%.

She said: “It would be really tough to put an accurate number on that right now but we estimate 5% of pubs have probably already closed for good.

“Of course, we are hoping we can change that by making the Government give us what we need to see us through the pandemic or looking at creating a less restrictive environment for us to trade in.”

Cashflow issue

Kerridge said 5% of pubs, in an actual figure quantified this to be about 2,500 pubs, which McClarkin agreed with.

McClarkin added: “As you know Tom, cashflow is a major issue during the crisis and still is, it’s an ongoing issue and some people would have already run out of money by now and so they wouldn’t have been in a secure financial position to see themselves through the first lockdown, let alone the second so yeah, unfortunately we have already lost some pubs.”

This follows exclusive data from real estate adviser Altus Group, which found more than 300 pubs had been permanently closed​, set to be demolished or converted for other uses for the 34 weeks and six days to 1 September 2020.

Figures from real estate adviser Altus Group found at the beginning of this month (September 2020), the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and to let was 40,748. This is down 315 this year so far, with 87 of those closing during the past two months.

In 2019, 473 pubs were demolished and/or converted into other types of building, it stated.

Losing 2,500 pubs this full year would mean the number of pubs that have closed in 2020 is more than double that in previous years.

According to a Market Growth Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners last year, the total of number in the pubs in the UK dropped by 2% (994 venues)​ from December 2018 to December 2019.

Previous years

That data revealed pubs, restaurants, bars and other licensed venues closures fell by 1.8% in the 12 months to December 2019 – the lowest rate year on year for almost two years.

It also showed Britain had 116,203 licensed premises as of December 2019, which represents an average net closure of six sites per day during that year.

The report found a 2% drop in Britain’s total pub and bar numbers, with food-led sites holding up better than community and drink-led venues, which had seen 4,297 net closures since December 2014.

There was a 1.6% decrease in total restaurants but managed sites of operators with more than one location increased by 1.8% in the year to December.

Analysis from real estate adviser Altus Group in 2019 found 76 pubs a month closed their doors in those 12 months​ – a total of 914 during the 2018 calendar year.

Altus Group’s annual business rates review discovered that on the 1 January 2019, the total number of pubs in England and Wales, liable for business rates, fell to 41,536 with the overall number declining by 1,530 since the business rates revaluation on 1 April 2017.

Statistics from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in 2018 found 18 pubs a week closed​ between 1 July and 31 December 2017 – a total of 468 in those 26 weeks.

Related topics: Property law

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