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Almost 1,300 pubs have closed or been converted in the past year

PUBLISHED: 08:41 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:01 23 July 2018

Close to 1,300 pubs have been shut down or converted over the past year, according to research by Altus Group. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Close to 1,300 pubs have been shut down or converted over the past year, according to research by Altus Group. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

“Unprecedented” cost pressures have led to the closure or conversion of almost 1,300 UK pubs in the past year, new research has found.

As many as 25 pubs closed every week, with many being switched to alternative uses such as homes and offices.

The data from real estate adviser Altus Group said rising business rates were partly to blame for the 1,292 pubs closures – which had also reduced the government’s annual income from the property tax.

Retailers and restaurant groups have been affected by similar cost pressures, and have been contending with wage increases, alongside a fall in footfall and consumer spending.

This has triggered a string of high-profile administrations within the sector.

But pub owners and brewers in East Anglia recently expressed optimism for the future, buoyed by a hot summer and the World Cup.

David Shuttleworth, vice president at Altus Group, said: “The sad reality is that more pubs will continue to call time unless further financial support is provided by the government.

“The chancellor should be bold within his autumn Budget later in the year by giving pubs a helping hand through an unprecedented stimulus of freezing rate rises in April 2019 whilst increasing the pub discount.”

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