25,000 licensed venues still to reopen

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Closed for good: the research also found over 8,500 venues of Britain’s pre-Covid total have already shut permanently (image: Getty/amstockphoto)
Closed for good: the research also found over 8,500 venues of Britain’s pre-Covid total have already shut permanently (image: Getty/amstockphoto)

Related tags: Pubs, Licensed premises, Cga, Finance

Just under a quarter (23.7%) of licensed premises in Britain have remained closed despite being permitted to reopen for indoor trading.

Research from CGA and AlixPartners revealed slightly more pubs than restaurants have reopened with about nine in 10 (92.9%) of high street pubs, a similar proportion (91.8%) of food pubs and almost the same (89.6%) of community pubs back trading. Some 89.2% of casual dining venues and other restaurants are now back trading too.

However, nearly half (45.2%) of the nation’s sports and social clubs have remained shut as well as 50.9% of large venues and more than a quarter (27%) of bars.

The data is from the latest edition of the Market Recovery Monitor ​and previous results from the survey found just a third (32.9%) of licensed premises trading during the first phase of reopening, before indoor service was allowed on Monday 17 May.

Landmark moment

Furthermore, 7.4% (over 8,500 venues) of Britain’s pre-Covid total have already closed their doors for good.

CGA director for hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell said: “The return of large parts of hospitality for indoor service was a landmark moment for consumers and businesses alike but it is alarming to see so many venues have still not been able to welcome guests.

“Many will have decided restrictions and space constraints make opening unviable, while some sectors like late-night bars and nightclubs are still completely off limits.

“It will be an anxious wait to see how many of the venues that are holding on until the final easing of restrictions will be able to make it through.

“Sustained support is clearly going to be needed to save thousands of vulnerable businesses and jobs.”

Challenges remain

AlixPartners managing director Graeme Smith said while it was fantastic to see pub and restaurants putting in such a robust performance ahead of the bank holiday weekend, it was clear challenges remain across the hospitality industry.

He added: “Restrictions are still in place, staffing challenges persist and city centres are yet to welcome back the majority of office workers, making it difficult for most venues to operate and in the case of late-night venues, making it impossible for quite a few venues to reopen.

“The removal of all Covid-19 restrictions on Monday 21 June remains a critical hurdle to overcome. Without restrictions being removed, many sites will not be viable and we may see these recent positive reopening trends reverse.”

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