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Pub and bar insolvencies up 30%

The number of insolvencies of pub and bar companies has jumped 30% in the past year, from 602 insolvencies in 2022/2023 to 784 insolvencies in 2023/24 (year end April 30), says UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group.

Pub and bar insolvencies continued to rise over the last year with fewer and fewer people willing or able to pay an average of £4.75** across the UK for a pint, with prices even steeper in city centres. The cost-of-living crisis continues to limit how much people are willing to spend on ‘non-essential’ products, like alcohol.

Peter Kubik, Partner at UHY Hacker Young says: “With money tight for many households, current alcohol prices means more people are choosing to drink at home instead of going out. The pub and bar industry has struggled for a long time but the last two years have been particularly difficult.”

Footfall for pubs is also being affected by the rising number of non-drinkers in the UK, with 26%*** of people aged 16-24 now teetotal. This sharply impacts the number of alcoholic drinks sold.

“The young in particular are drifting away from drinking after work or at the weekends, impacting pubs and bars. The demographic trends for pubs and bars in the long term are very concerning.”

Peter Kubik adds: “The new government will have to overhaul the current rate system in order to help the high street.”

“After a year of rising insolvencies, pubs and bars are hoping that the boost of the Euros will mean a stronger summer of trading. That’s only likely to be transitory, however.”

* Source: Insolvency Service Data Year end: April 2024

** Source: ONS

*** Source: Drinkaware


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