Despite their being a great decline in the number of pubs remaining open in the UK over the last decade, latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 2019 has seen a net gain of pubs opening. Almost 9,000 jobs and an additional cash turnover of £740m are said to be created from this.
Between 2010 and 2018, there was a net loss of 5,855 pubs in the UK, equaling an average of -732 per year. This is believed to be due to the business tax and alcohol duty changes.
Now the pub industry is seen to be reversing that numerical decline. England has seen a surge of 345 pubs opening, whilst Wales saw a rise of 25 and Northern Ireland and Scotland saw an increase of just 5.
Isn’t this something for those in the pub trade to celebrate!
Britain’s Beer Alliance, made up of individual publicans and brewers, states that thousands more could close if Chancellor Philip Hammond continues with his plan to hike beer duty by over 3% in this month’s Budget, with future annual inflation linked prices planned.
A BBA report estimates an additional 6000 pubs could close over the next 5 years along with the loss of a further 12,500 jobs.
The Alliance says there are currently c48,000, but about 3 a day continue to close. A further rise in duty will make many more economically unviable. Currently 1 in every 3 pounds spent in pubs goes to the government.
Although in decline, the pub and brewing sector is huge business in the UK. It employs 900,000 people, is worth c£23bn to the economy and pays c£13bn in taxes.
Beer duty was ‘frozen’ in last the Budget last autumn, but the industry fears it will be targeted this time round.
If you have a pub and are struggling with debts contact us for advice. It’s one of the sectors we specialise in! Call us on 0800 9700539.
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Please note that the guide was mostly written pre Covid-19 and there have been some changes to insolvency legislation that limits creditors actions and relaxes rules regarding wrongful trading. A new 20 day moratorium for distressed businesses has also been introduced.