Great Britain

More and more pubs close

It's a sight that more and more Brits are having to get used to: Closed pubs
IMAGO / PA Images
It's a sight that more and more Brits are having to get used to: Closed pubs

Last orders: In Great Britain, according to an analysis, 2022 the number of pub insolvencies has risen sharply. Insolvencies of pub and bar companies have increased by 83% in the past year, from 280 in 2021 to 512 in 2022, as rail strikes and the cost-of-living crisis hit consumer footfall, reports consulting firm UHY Hacker Young. 

Many pubs were struggling with rising energy costs, UHY said. After the pandemic, many pub owners also had no reserves. In addition, customers stayed away because of high inflation. The long rail strikes also played a role: Fewer commuters came.

UHY expert Peter Kubik spoke of an "deeply concerning situation. In addition to the financial consequences for owners and employees, the loss of a pub can be felt quite keenly by the community.” Kubik said. 

“This is a particularly difficult period for pub and bar owners, who find they need to spend more and more while earning less and less. Following an extended period of lost revenues during the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis has been the final nail in the coffin for many.”

“Perhaps the government should consider what it can do to alleviate pressures, for instance, by extending the energy bill relief scheme for the hospitality sector.”

The pub die-off in the U.K. had begun long before the pandemic. Reasons include the smoking ban, cheaper alcohol in supermarkets and changes in drinking behavior. In addition, pub owners complain about beer taxes, which are among the highest in the world. In 2022, the number of pubs in England and Wales fell below 40,000 for the first time.

Peter Kubik