Analysis of Government data by real estate adviser Altus Group found the number of pubs liable for property taxes, businesses rates, including those vacant and being offered to let, dropped by 444 to 40,173 in December 2021, against 40,617 the previous year.
This equates to about 37 pubs being demolished or converted for other uses, such as homes or offices, per month in 2021.
While the drop of 444 pubs is similar to previous years (446 in 2020 and 473 in 2019 after a dramatic fall of 914 in 2018), it means 2,277 pubs have vanished in the past four years.
Altus Group broke down the figures into regions and found the south west and north west have the highest number of pubs – 5,738 and 5,361 respectively. The north east and Wales had the fewest at 1,983 and 3,060 respectively.
UK president Robert Hayton said: “Pubs continue to bear the brunt of coronavirus restrictions but have, thankfully, proved remarkably resilient.
“However, it remains to be seen what impact Omicron has on numbers next year as this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for many.”
While insolvencies in the sector have been reduced, despite the impact of the pandemic, as a result of the support measures for businesses but, Altus predicted the phasing out of financial aid in recent months and the ‘limited nature’ of the Chancellor’s latest support package in response to the Omicron variant could mean more hardship on the horizon.
The latest round of grants means eligible pubs can claim up to £6,000, depending on rateable value of each premises.
Operators hit out at the announcement, with one likening it to “sticking an Elastoplast over a gaping wound”, while another said it was “a twinkle of sunshine in a very bleak outlook”.