50 pubs vanish per month

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Last orders: the number of pubs vanishing has increased by half (50%) over the past 12 weeks, according to Altus Group (image: Getty/dmbaker)
Last orders: the number of pubs vanishing has increased by half (50%) over the past 12 weeks, according to Altus Group (image: Getty/dmbaker)

Related tags Property Legislation Business rates

Some 50 pubs a month are now disappearing from communities across England and Wales, real estate adviser Altus Group has warned today (Monday 10 October).

The number of pubs shutting their doors has rocketed by 50% in the last three months. Wales and the North West lost the greatest number of pubs.

During the three months to the end of September 2022, analysis of Government property tax records, revealed 150 pubs were either demolished or converted into types of use like homes and offices.

The total number of pubs, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell below 40,000 for the first time to 39,973 at the end of June versus 40,173 at the end of the 2021 calendar year according to Altus Group’s annual business rates review.

Glaring omissions

Altus Group UK president Robert Hayton said last month’s mini budget contained “glaring omissions” in relation to the pub sector.

He added: “It beggars belief that a self-proclaimed low tax Government could allow pubs lose to their business rates discount next April as well as seeing any benefit from next year’s revaluation potentially wiped out by inflation.” 

Until the end of March next year, pubs received a 50% discount on their business rates bills worth on average £9,563 per pub although that support is capped at £11,000 per business and is due to end on 1 April 2023.

Overall business rates revenue is also set to rise next April in line with September’s headline rate of inflation which is due to be released by the Office for National Statistics on 19 October.

Momentous challenge

JD Wetherspoon has already claimed they are facing a “momentous challenge”​ to persuade pubgoers back into bars after they get used to drinking cheap supermarket beer during the pandemic.

The operator has appointed property agent CBRE and Savills to sell 32 of its pubs​. The properties, which comprise a mix of 10 freehold and 22 leasehold units, are located in town and city centre locations across England and are being considered for sale either individually, in small packages or as a portfolio.

In its preliminary results for the 53 weeks ending 31 July 2022, the pub group​ reported a drop in like-for-like sales of 4.7% and a revenue decrease of 4.3% to £1,740.5m compared to the pre-pandemic 52 weeks ending 28 July 2019.

Additionally, operating profit after exceptional items was also down by more than half (58.2%) to £55.1m (£131.9m in 2019).

Chairman Tim Martin said post-pandemic recovery sales have been “painstakingly slow” for some, twinned with cost inflation.

Related topics Property law

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