Rising energy bills threaten hundreds of pub closures amid lack of vital Government support

C4FTA2 The Counting House pub in the City of London, UK

HUNDREDS of pubs face calling time as energy bills soar amid a lack of vital government support.

Industry leaders are now demanding action by ministers before a key relief scheme is axed on April Fool’s Day.

Lively pubs could be a thing of the past in hundreds of locations across the UK

Last week’s Budget extended the energy price cap for households until June but snubbed small firms, including vulnerable pubs.

From April 1 boozers will have to pay £18,400 more than last year for their energy bills. On average bills are £38,400 a year higher than before lockdowns.

For most pubs this will wipe out profits, threatening their survival.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, told HOAR: “This has been a critical issue for our sector for far too long and as April 1 draws closer, we have reached a point where businesses have nowhere left to go, as costs increase, and their profit margins are completely erased.

“With no action on energy for businesses, the simple fact is thousands of our pubs and brewers will be at risk of failure come April 1 and will be lost from communities across the country forever.

“We need the Government to step in give businesses in the ‘pain zone’ of sky-high contract rates a window to renegotiate and bring those costs down.”

Last year alone 560 pubs shut for good. During the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 a total of 850 closed, according to the BBPA.

Many boozers are struggling to lure back customers as people stay at home during the cost of living crisis.

Pubs also face financial woe due to higher staff wages and more expensive beer contracts.

Many landlords are reluctant to pass on the costs to customers.

If the price of beer trebled in line with rising energy bills, the average cost of a pint of lager would rocket from £4.45 to £13.35.

But rather than helping, energy suppliers are demanding pubs pay thousands of pounds in deposits upfront to sign or renew contracts.

The tough stance comes amid fears pubs will go bust owing thousands in unpaid bills.

The BBPA has written to MPs and Ofgem demanding the regulator scrutinises the use of unfair contracts.

This pub in Romford is now boarded up

Only derelict remains are now here where this Bristol pub once was

This Margate pub in Kent is now closed too

Jo Farrell, landlady of The Windsor Castle near Stockport for 15 years, says her energy bill has shot up from £500 a month to £1,500.

She said: “We got an 11p discount on draft ale in the Budget but that is of no use. Everything we make is swallowed up on energy bills.

“We fought off the pandemic and lockdowns and now we’ve been hit with these higher energy bills.

“The Government has shot a dart in the hospitality sector.”


HOUSE price growth has slowed since the start of the year — but rental prices have risen at their fastest rate since records began in 2016.

Average UK house prices rose by 6.3 per cent in the year to January, but this was a marked slowdown from the 9.3 per cent growth in December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Although house price rises have slowed there has been a surge in rental prices

Despite the volatile backdrop, average UK homes are still £17,000 more expensive than they were a year ago, at £290,000.

Meanwhile, private rental costs have surged by 4.7 per cent in a year.

Economists blame rising rentals on would-be house buyers being priced out of the market by more expensive mortgage costs.

Carl Howard, of Andrews estate agents, said: “The current mismatch between population growth and house building is continuing to stoke demand for rental properties.”


HIGHER glass bottle costs are forcing the posh tonic producer Fever-Tree to increase its prices.

Sales of the mixer brand — which now includes ginger beer and a cola — rose by 11 per cent to £344.3million, helping Fever-Tree to enjoy a record market share last year.

However, operating profits slid by around 45 per cent to £30.6million on the back of a jump in shipping and freight costs.


PRIMARK is opening four more Greggs cafes in its larger stores — as the partnership between the fashion and steak bake brands deepens.

The concessions — known as Tasty by Greggs — will open in Newcastle, Bristol, Liverpool and Leeds between now and July.

The cafes include quirky sausage roll swings and doughnut-themed seating.

Primark has already trialled two Greggs cafes in London’s Oxford Street and Birmingham, as well as a clothing range.

Primark said: “We’re thrilled with the success.”


AMAZON is increasing its workers’ entry-level pay to £11 an hour from next month.

The 50p-an-hour pay rise for warehouse staff coincides with a rise in the national living wage to £10.42 on April 1.

But it comes after Amazon announced it would be slashing another 9,000 jobs in a second round of layoffs.

The tech giant employs more than 50,000 people in the UK and 1.54million worldwide.

An Amazon spokesman said: “Over the past seven months our minimum pay has risen by 10 per cent.”