In 2012, insolvency trade body R3 revealed 34% of pubs were at ‘risk of failure’ in the next 12 months. This is worrying when compared to a national cross-sector average of 23% of businesses at risk.
At the beginning of the recession, UK pubs were closing at a staggering rate of 52 pubs every week during the first half of 2009. Meanwhile, pub chains such as Wetherspoon’s, were expanding. They were opening 2 pubs per week putting additional strain on already struggling local pubs.
Post-recession studies have shown more people are choosing to enjoy a drink at home rather than going to their local pub. With supermarkets competing to offer the best deals and lowest prices on alcohol, it is often cheaper to stay in and have a drink at home.
The latest figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reveal that pubs in rural communities are still being lost at an alarming rate. The research found that nine rural pubs close every week in the UK.
Neil Walker spokesman for CAMRA said; “Pubs are closing at an alarming rate in all areas, but where the loss of a pub can often have the biggest impact is in the small rural towns and villages around the UK. For communities who see the last pub in their village close the loss can be a very personal one and we would encourage people to use their local more often, or risk it not being there in the future.”
The research found 38% of British adults never visit the pub and 36% who use their local pub now visit less than they did 12 months ago. Those in the pub industry are blaming running costs, changing social behaviour and supermarket competition.
Stephen Cock, landlord of The Royal Oak Inn, a family-run inn, says his pub is struggling under the weight of business rates; “We have recently received our business rates demand for the year April 2014 to March 2015 which have increased again by £250 per month. We now pay £1,253 per month.”
So here at Wilson Field we have teamed up with some bloggers who love their local pubs. We wanted to know what their favourite things are about their local, from the food to the weekly quiz. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out more #LocalPubGrub!
Are you worrying about your business rates? Tax and VAT arrears? Overdue supplier bills? Falling sales?
Contact someone who can help you as soon as possible.