Six pubs have closed every week during Covid lockdowns as premises are demolished or converted into housing or shops

  • Figures released today showed 384 pubs have closed permanently in pandemic
  • Research shows number of locals down by one per cent from 40,886 to 40,502
  • More pubs lost in south east than other parts, with 62 demolished or converted
  • West Midlands, Wales, North West and East of England saw 40 pubs close each

Six pubs have closed every week during the three Covid-19 lockdowns with premises demolished or converted into housing or shops. 

Figures released today showed 384 pubs have closed permanently during the national and tiered local restrictions over the past 14 months.

The number of locals is down by one per cent from 40,886 to 40,502, according to research by consultants Altus Group.

Robert Hayton, of Altus, said: ‘Pubs have endured a torrid time during the pandemic but have proved remarkably resilient aided by government furloughs, grants, rates relief and cheap loans helping to keep the ‘pilot light’ on for their reopening.’

Last week, the owner of The Smiths Arms in Castle Dene, County Durham, was refused permission to convert the pub into a residential dwelling because its use ‘provides a much valued facility to the local community’.

West Northamptonshire Council granted permission to turn The Romany (pictured above) in Kingsley, Northampton, into 11 flats after its closure during the first lockdown

The Crobar (above) in Soho said it would be unable to reopen after struggling to pay rent, but is now planning to resume business at a new venue after fundraising over £100,000

Planners explained the reasoning behind the decision last Monday, reports The Northern Echo, saying: ‘The pub use provides a much valued facility to the local community.

‘Its loss would have a negative impact upon the quality of life, particularly in the social sense, of the local community which has not been adequately justified by the viability, marketing and supporting information submitted with the application.’

Meanwhile, West Northamptonshire Council granted permission to turn The Romany in Kingsley, Northampton, into 11 flats after its closure during the first lockdown last year.

And The Majors Arms in Widnes, Cheshire, was sold last October, with its new owners requesting permission from Halton Council to turn it into a shop.

The Crobar in Soho, central London, previously said it would be unable to reopen after struggling to pay rent during the pandemic, but is now planning to resume business at a new venue after fundraising over £100,000. 

The study found more pubs were lost in the South East than other parts of the UK, with 62 demolished or converted for alternative use during the pandemic.

Last week, the owner of The Smiths Arms (pictured) in Castle Dene, County Durham, was refused permission to convert the pub into a residential dwelling

The Majors Arms in Widnes, Cheshire, was sold in October last year, with its new owners requesting permission from Halton Council to turn it into a shop

The West Midlands, Wales, North West and East of England each saw more than 40 pubs closed during the same 14-month spell.

Pubs that disappeared have either been demolished or converted into other uses such as homes or offices, said Altus.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has tried to stem the tide of pub closures and conversions by including a £150million fund to help communities revive their local pub.

The four-year scheme, opening this summer, will allow communities to ask the government to double fund what they have raised to purchase a local asset, such as a pub, up to the value of £250,000.

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