Nearly 400 pubs closed in England and Wales in 2022

29 December 2022 by
Nearly 400 pubs closed in England and Wales in 2022

Almost 400 pubs in England and Wales closed their doors in 2022 as landlords struggled with rising energy costs and food prices.

Analysis of official government data by real estate adviser Altus Group found that the overall number of pubs fell from 40,173 in December 2021 to 39,787 at the end of 2022.

This worked out at a loss of around 32 venues a month across the two countries.

The figures are slightly down compared to 2022, when 444 pubs were lost as the UK emerged from the pandemic.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said the findings were "upsetting… but unfortunately not surprising".

This year many pubs have been forced to reduce opening hours or temporarily close to cope with soaring food and energy costs and falling customer demand.

The government's current energy support package is due to expire at the end of March 2023 but the Treasury has postponed an update on its future until the New Year.

"Many publicans that I speak to are worried that this could be their last Christmas and really needed certainty about future support," said Altus Group's Ben Nelson.

"High operating costs and low margins make plots attractive for alternative investment and use, so continued support is vital to protect pubs as they play an important role at the heart of their local communities."

Wales lost the largest number of pubs in 2022 with numbers falling by 50 to 3,010, while 46 sites closed in the West Midlands, leaving 3,933 in the area.

"With rocketing energy costs, soaring inflation, severe labour shortages and plummeting consumer confidence, pubs are being pushed to breaking point. We need intervention as soon as possible, otherwise many more will be forced to close, and we'll lose them from the heart of villages, towns and cities across the UK forever," said McClarkin.

Photo: Paolo Paradiso/Shutterstock

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