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UK pubs face closure amid energy prices

HUNDREDS of pubs have already closed across the UK due to soaring electricity and gas bills with thousands more set to call last drinks, according to the hospitality peak body.

 Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/es/@shotaspot?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Frank Albrecht</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/english-pub?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/es/@shotaspot?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Frank Albrecht</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/english-pub?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) wrote an open letter to the UK government and prime ministerial leadership candidates, warning of business closures and mass loss of jobs due to energy bills which have jumped more than 300% in recent months. 

The peak body called on the government to implement a cap on the price of energy businesses. There is already a domestic cap for energy prices for households in the UK, but not small businesses. 

According to the Association, job losses were now inevitable. The industry employs more than 940,000 people.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said one of his pubs had seen an electricity price rise of £33,000 (A$56,000) per year.

Greene King has a chain of over 3000 pubs.

"The huge rise in energy bills is hitting the UK's pubs hard - just as the sector was starting to recover from the pandemic," Mackenzie said. 

"Businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn."

Already more than 600 pubs have closed across England and Wales, according to real estate consultancy Altus Group.

Altus blamed soaring energy prices and inflation for the closures. 

There are now 39,970 active pubs across England and Wales, it found. This is down by 7000 since 2012. 

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said energy prices would cause more damage to the industry than the pandemic did, unless the government acted quickly. 

She noted consumers were already thinking carefully about where they spend their money in a high-inflationary environment. 

"There are pubs that weathered the storm of the past two years that now face closure because of rocketing energy bills for both them and their customers," McClarking said. 

 

 

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