An average of six pubs a week, totalling 384, ‘vanished’ between May 2020 and May 2021 – significant but still less than pre-pandemic times.
When broken down into regions, the south east saw the largest change in pub numbers, down 81 from March 2020. The West Midlands saw the second largest change with 57 closing, followed by Wales with 56 and the north west with 53. The East Midlands saw a loss of 47, the east was 45 region and Yorkshire/Humberside saw a loss of 42 pubs. The region that saw the fewest number of pubs disappearing was, oddly given the high street decimation there, in London with 27, followed by the north east with 30 then the south west with 35.
However, compared to previous years, the number of pubs closing showed a welcome decline on pre-pandemic figures. At the start of 2019, the number of pubs was at 41,536 – down 914 on the previous year, and at the start of 2020 pub numbers were at 41,063, down a further 473.
“Pubs endured a torrid time during the pandemic but proved remarkably resilient,” said Altus Group UK president of expert services Robert Hayton. “Aided by Government interventions such as furlough, grants, rates relief and liquidity in the form of cheap loans helped keep the ‘pilot light on’ for their reopening.”