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Increasing pub closures show impact of cost increases

19/06/2024

New analysis shows the number of pubs in England and Wales fell by 239 in the first quarter of 2024 – almost 80 a month.

The closures came in the months immediately preceding above-inflation increases to both business rates and wages, which significantly increased the cost burden for hospitality businesses by a total of £3.4 billion.

Responding to the figures, Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “The level of closures that we’re continuing to see reinforces that the challenges facing our nation’s pubs remains as acute as ever.

“It is unacceptable that 80 pubs a month are forced to shut their doors, robbing communities of a vital asset and costing people their jobs.

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“The fact that we’re seeing such a high number of sites closing for good should concern us all, particularly as this occurred before above-inflation increases to business rates and wage costs in April.

“This underlines the need for any incoming government to urgently address the cost burden facing hospitality businesses. It’s encouraging that replacing or reforming the business rates system has featured in several party manifestos, delivering on one of our key policy recommendations. Such changes are essential to ensure hospitality can create places where people want to live work and invest.”

About UKHospitality:

UKHospitality is the leading trade body for hospitality, representing every corner of the sector. We represent more than 130,000 venues, from pubs, bars and restaurants to hotels, indoor leisure and contract catering.

We work on behalf of a sector at the heart of the everyday economy; contributing £93 billion annually to the economy, generating £54 billion of tax for the Treasury and employing more than 3.5 million people as the third largest employer in the UK.

Our members benefit from our dedicated campaigning to empower an environment for hospitality to thrive, in addition to expert insight, specialist support helplines and guidance on the key issues facing hospitality businesses.

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