More than 7,500 of Britain's licensed premises 'lost to Covid'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

More than 7,500 of Britain's licensed premises 'lost to Covid'

Related tags Licensed premises Closure Cga Coronavirus lockdown Pub & bar

Britain has 7,592 fewer licensed premises than it did before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, according to a new report by CGA and AlixPartners.

The March edition of the Market Recovery Monitor, published almost exactly a year after the UK was first plunged into lockdown, further amplifies devastating impact of the pandemic on hospitality.

According to the data, the country saw a rapid acceleration in closures since the start of 2021, with the total number of Britain’s licensed premises falling by 2,713 over January and February — equivalent to 46 closures a day, or one every 31 minutes.

In total, Britain had 107,516 sites at the end of February 2021, down by 7,592 or 6.6% from 115,108 in March 2020.

The Market Recovery Monitor reveals how independent businesses have borne the brunt of closures.

A total of 5,112 have been lost since March 2020, including 1,971 in January and February alone.

The data reflects the vulnerability of small and family-run businesses by comparison to well-invested restaurant and pub groups, which have recorded 1,229 closures — fewer than a quarter of the independent sector’s number.

“While hospitality finally has a roadmap out of lockdown, these figures show that dozens more businesses are being pushed to collapse every day," says Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA.

"Losing Christmas sales had a shattering impact on many entrepreneurial restaurants, pubs and bars, who add so much colour to our high streets and enrich communities up and down Britain.

"Hospitality is a vibrant sector that can help to kickstart the UK’s economic recovery this summer, but in the meantime support is desperately needed to avoid thousands more business failures.”

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