News & Insights
Research conducted by Altus Group has indicated that the UK lost pubs at an average rate of 37 per month through 2020.
Whilst this was to be expected, this figure does not depict the number of tenants that have been forced to close their pub businesses as a result of the pandemic.
Instead, it shows the number of properties that no longer operate as pubs, whether this is because they have been demolished or have been converted into offices or homes.
Properties that are vacant or are available to let contribute to the total figure of 40,617 pubs across the UK. This indicates a decrease of 446 from 41,063 in 2019. However, the research also shows that there was a decrease of 473 pubs in the previous year.
The topic of struggling hospitality businesses has been the subject of much focus amongst commentators and pub operators like Tom Kerridge, and these figures actually highlight how the loss of pubs was more prevalent in the relative normality before the pandemic.
Indeed, many pubs have had to cease operations during the pandemic and have been entitled to government grants, loans and business rates relief which may have provided some security. Most recently, HM Treasury pledged an additional £4.6 billion grants package to help struggling business in the hospitality and leisure industries.
However, the number of pub tenants that have been forced to abandon their businesses, whilst leaving a usable vacant premises behind, it still unclear.
Hospitality businesses will have large concerns going forwards, especially as normal footfall may not return for some time, if at all. This could mean that there are further challenges to face in the future, with many questioning whether they will have to abandon their premises once government support ceases.
The industry has been operating in survival mode since the pandemic began, though many pub landlords and tenants will argue that they were fighting for survival long before it ever started.