Pubs closed at a rate of 32 a month during 2022, according to official government data analysed by real estate adviser Altus Group. The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 39,787 in December, compared with 40,173 at the same point last year. However, the number of pubs shutting their doors for good was 13.1% lower than recorded in 2021.
“Many publicans that I speak to are worried that this could be their last Christmas and really needed certainty about future support,” said Altus Group's Ben Nelson.
“High operating costs and low margins make plots attractive for alternative investment and use, so continued support is vital to protect pubs as they play an important role at the heart of their local communities.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Whilst these figures are upsetting, they are, unfortunately, not surprising. Pubs and brewers are facing extreme challenges. They are doing whatever they can to keep going.
“Pubs want to stay open and provide a warm and welcoming space for their communities this winter, but urgently need clarity on whether the energy bill relief scheme will be extended, and that suppliers to be held accountable on hidden costs.
“With rocketing energy costs, soaring inflation, severe labour shortages, and plummeting consumer confidence, pubs are being pushed to breaking point. We need intervention as soon as possible, otherwise many more will be forced to close and we’ll lose them from the heart of villages, towns, and cities across the UK forever.”