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More than 70% of pubs 'unlikely to survive the winter' over rising energy costs

Metro logo Metro 24/08/2022 Harrison Jones
Some pubs say they are facing 500% rises in their utility costs (Picture: Getty) © Provided by Metro Some pubs say they are facing 500% rises in their utility costs (Picture: Getty)

At least seven in ten pubs are unlikely to survive the soaring cost of living crisis this winter, a bombshell new survey suggests.

Some 8% of boozers said they had seen an increase in utility costs of more than 500%, according to the survey by the Morning Advertiser.

More than 65% had seen an increase of at least 100%.

Now landlords are pinning their hopes on new intervention from Government to rescue them.

The latest hit to the industry comes amid rocketing energy prices and a tightening of household budgets – which publicans fear will badly hit their takings.

Earlier this week it was predicted that inflation would top a eye-watering 18.6% in January.

There are also fears that pints could soon cost £9 in some areas.

Over 70% of those surveyed by the MA said they would not make it through the winter as a result, unless they receive Government help – much like they did during the Covid crisis.

The survey is the latest damning warning about the state of the industry (Picture: Shutterstock) © Provided by Metro The survey is the latest damning warning about the state of the industry (Picture: Shutterstock)

According to data from real estate group Altus, there were 39,970 pubs in England and Wales in June – down by more than 7,000 since 2012.

One survey respondent told the trade website: ‘Action needs to be taken now to protect businesses. It was hard enough making it through Covid times, this is now absolutely ridiculous.’

Another wet-led pub owner said they had been quoted 83p a unit instead of their previous contract of 14p.

‘I have no chance of surviving’, they said.

The MA’s editor Ed Bedington described the issue as an ‘extinction event’ for pubs and called for action now before the new prime minister is announced.

The managing director of The Frisco Group, which runs three pubs, said: ‘Brits face the prospect of losing thousands of pubs if something isn’t done soon to help.

Heath Ball told the Government the industry was in a ‘doomsday scenario’ and added: ‘Find a solution to this now or face mass pub and restaurant closures.’

A Government spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘No national government can control the global factors pushing up the price of energy and other business costs, but we will continue to support the hospitality sector in navigating the months ahead.  

‘That includes providing a 50 per cent business rates relief for businesses across the UK, freezing alcohol duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits and reducing employer national insurance.

‘This is in addition to the billions in grants and loans offered throughout the pandemic.’

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