Jeremy Hunt urged to operate as two pubs a day are being demolished or converted into flats
The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and up for lease, fell to 39,404 at the end of June 2023.
Two pubs a day were demolished or converted into homes and shops in the first half of the year, grim figures showed today.
The number of pubs demolished or converted to other uses has risen by 50% in just three months. Government statistics reveal that 230 pubs disappeared for good in the quarter to June 30, as rising costs and pressure on household budgets dented the industry.
The data, compiled by commercial property specialist Altus Group, showed a 50.3% jump after 153 pubs disappeared in the first quarter of 2023. This means more than two pubs a day will disappear from local communities during the first half of the year. .
The total number of pubs in England and Wales, including those vacant and up for lease, fell to 39,404 at the end of June 2023. Some 383 pubs were demolished or converted for other uses such as homes, offices or even nurseries during the recession. Semi-annually, according to analysts.
Last week, patrons of Sheffield’s historic Big Gun pub drowned their sorrows after the pub closed after 227 years. The owner, a local businessman who bought the building in 2021, plans to turn it into a take-away pizzeria.
Over the weekend, it emerged that Arkell’s brewery had applied for planning permission to convert the Duke of Edinburgh’s pub in Swindon, Wilts, into flats, after closing last year. Estate agents claim it has been impossible to find new tenants or buyers for the 150-year-old building.
Alex Probyn, head of property tax at Altus Group, called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to use November’s Autumn Statement to ease business rates in the struggling industry. Currently, companies that pay business rates – the estate tax that affects larger companies – will see an inflation-linked increase next April.
Without new government intervention, it is set to add more than 6% to bills next year. “With energy costs rising 80% year-on-year on low growth, high inflation and high interest rates, the last thing pubs need is average business rates rising by £12,385 next year,” Probyn said.
Pubs, as with other eligible hospitality, leisure and retail businesses, currently receive a 75% rebate on their business rates invoices for the 2023/2024 tax year up to a maximum of £110,000 per business. But this is set to end on March 31.
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