Fifty Pubs Closing Every Week, Research Says
With 50 locals closing every week, Britain's hard-up pub trade has become one of the most distressed sectors in the country, according to figures from an insolvency specialist.
Figures released by Begbies Traynor showed a 95% rise in 'critical' financial problems in the pub sector since the beginning of the year, making the sector the hardest hit of any type of business in the first quarter of the year.
The report classifies problems as 'critical' when a company has debt-related county court judgments (CCJ) worth £5,000 or more.
The numbers are stark when compared to the 7% fall on average in critical distress levels across all business sectors, and a significant drop among manufacturing firms.
The restructuring firm previously warned that football clubs were experiencing 19 times the average levels of business distress in the country, with the industry seeing several high-profile failures and administrations.
"Duty increases are hitting pubs particularly badly, and a survey out today suggests in the first quarter of the year, the consumption in pubs was down by 57 million pints and at the same time there was an almost equivalent increase in terms of drinks spending in supermarkets," Begbies Traynor's Julie Palmer told Sky News.
The company said many pubs were unable to keep up with changes in consumer behaviour which has resulted in more at-home drinking by increasingly less affluent young people and students, once the staple customer of pubs and bars.
Ms Palmer added that industries that depend on discretionary spending from hard-pressed consumers were suffering, raising concerns that the withering of the football club sector and the local pub trade will have a damaging impact on Britain's communities.
"The fact that pubs, football and other sports clubs are on their uppers is not simply a matter for economic concern, as these once thriving hubs of community and regional identity are part of the fabric of British society, and once lost can never be replaced," chairman Ric Traynor said.
"Whether you view that as a good or a bad thing, the fact is it will, in the long term, change the character of the country as a whole and this should be recognised."
The high number of closures has prompted Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, to launch an initiative to re-establish the pub at the centre of community life and persuade landlords around the country to look at different ways to attract new customers.
But Begbies' quarterly review found the overall situation for businesses was beginning to improve, boosted by the uplift in the manufacturing sector.
"Distress levels year-on-year are actually down about 17% at the moment, which shows there is some good sentiment in the economy in the sense that business are ready to start recovering," Ms Palmer said.
Firms involved in food and beverage manufacturing reported less financial trouble and even the printing and packaging sector performed better than previously.
However, the firm added that significant problems in the property services, construction and utilities contractor sectors in the past quarter indicate that while the private sector has surfaced from the depths of the economic turmoil, public spending cuts are still hitting many companies hard as long-term infrastructure and construction contracts are held over or shelved.
what do you think?
with beer at nearly four quid a pint i am not surprised.Lower the tax on booze ,it will create more jobs,more draymen ,more bar and waiting staff .I can only afford to go to the pub on special occasions like birthdays its just too expensive for me .bills have to be paid first.
I stopped going to the pub when I was made redundant three years ago. Now back at work, earning about the same as I did 20 years ago, and spending nearly 20% of my net income on fuel to get to work and back, going to the pub is just out of the question, and I'm sure there are many others familiar with this situation. My local still does OK though, it is very well frequented by retired public sector workers!
Back of the net, Anthony!
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if you did not have to take out a second mortgage to buy a round of drinks pubs might not be in this position .
This country is being taxed to death. It's as simple as that.
Pubs have had to focus on serving food because there is not much profit in drink after tax. If you just want a pint and a chat, it is too expensive if you cannot walk there and need a taxi.
TAX....TAX.......TAX..........TAX..............TAX............. WHERE DOES IT ALL GO ??
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A lot of this is down to ridiculous taxes on ales and crazy supermarket prices on cr --ap lagers
many pubs are closing because the price of drink is to expensive.same old story we pay to much tax on everything not just drink.this country is a joke.i wouldnt blame anyone if they could leaving this country and living somewhere else.the wages for most jobs is crap houses way to expensive and tax on everything to high unless your rich and get out of paying a lot of income tax.how is there any money left.there making money from food now not drink.most people will be on there knees before long and wont be able to live end off.the government are just theives for themselves and look after number one.we need a revolution in this country like other countries have.the way any government is treating us is disgusting but things will turn nasty then but i dont think we have a choice.has a nation we just sit back and take the s@@t they give we have no backbone anymore
the prices for drink in most pubs is a joke and to expensive.its not always the pubs fault its the tax that makes it so.some for the pub tennacys agreements are to restrictive so they can only supply certain drinks and general business costs of running a pub are to high.mainly the governments fault again.peoples socialising has changed i think due to the internet and home entertainment with computers and games machine people dont need to leave the house for entertainment.a lot cheaper to drink at home as well.i think that has an effect now on the pub trade.people went out to the pub or working mans club to sociallise and entertainment i think people arent so bothered anymore.society is different to how it used to be.i dont think it is completely down to drink being to expensive.it s a shame really.thanks to jd wetherspoon for reasonable price drinks i still go out occasionally most other places are to expensive
Government TAXES ........ AND COMPUTOR GAMING ........ i think these are the two knives in the back of the british "Pub Trade " ....... i dont suppose the breweries help either ..... given their restrictions . Tax on " takeaways" !!!!! wots next ??.......... we are being taxed to death . I wudnt know where to start if i were in control of the countrys purse .... but surely the supposed proffesionals that are running the show can see the heart being sucked right out of this country??.Lots of dishonesty and miss direction of money ....... many accountants "Can BE" dishonest ..... we all no this ........ its a no win at the moment really because .... in order to get out of debt, on any level, things have to be sacrificed.......
May i just add ..... it always seems to me that it is the lowest paid members of our country that get hit hardest ...... so sad ...
Quite alot of these pubs are then turned in to mosques