Over 150 London pubs, bars and restaurants closed in 2020
The latest figures show that the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the hospitality sector as more than 150 pubs, bars and restaurants in London closed permanently last year with the number of licensed premises in the capital shrinking 4.5 percent in December compared to 2019. That represented a drop from 3,460 venues down to 3,303, meaning 157 sites closed their doors for good between Christmas 2019 and the end of last year.
Birmingham and Leeds were the only other major British cities to suffer a larger percentage drop than the capital. With Birmingham losing 8.5 percent while Leeds losing 5.6 percent of sites, respectively.
In total 5,975 licensed premises closed their doors last year across Britain according to the latest research by data analysts CGA and consulting firm AlixPartners. Closures are close to triple the 2,171 recorded in 2019, highlighting the massive impact the pandemic and restrictions have had on trading within the hospitality sector.
Experts had warned that the restrictions put in place throughout December will “undoubtedly have caused more business failures” (in early 2021). The question many are asking is “Yes, but how many?”.
“Businesses, their funders, landlords and other stakeholders urgently need certainty and a roadmap to reopening” AlixPartners director Graeme Smith said. He added “the rapid rollout of the vaccine offers hope, but with restrictions unlikely to be lifted until Easter at the earliest, the coming months will likely see more sites lost for good”.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, urged the government to back the industry. She said, “Given this latest evidence showing how the Covid crisis and lockdown is ripping pubs away from their communities for good, it is more important than ever that the government backs our local pubs and brewers”.
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