Bleak outlook for pubs with over 2,000 likely to remain closed

Pub hotspots in Yorkshire are facing a bleak economic recovery after a long lockdown with over 2,000 Yorkshire pubs forced to remain closed.

Outdoor pubs have been allowed to reopen
Outdoor pubs have been allowed to reopen

New research from Stint, which connects pubs with students who want short, flexible shifts, has revealed the pub hotspots and local economies which will be hardest hit by the slow reopening of pubs.

Over 2,000 pubs across Yorkshire and the Humber could remain closed until May 17 unless reopening restrictions ease, with thousands of venues across every region forced to stay shut.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Pubs make up 20 per cent of the UK’s food and accommodation sector, and according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), 60 per cent of pubs don’t have enough garden or outdoor space to reopen. This means hundreds of pubs are set to remain closed in each region unless restrictions ease for hospitality businesses.

Stint said the Yorkshire economy will be one of the hardest hit as it is home to one of the UK’s top 25 pub hotspots: North Yorkshire

Pubs in Yorkshire’s most affected areas account for 37 per cent of all accommodation and food businesses.

ONS data shows the accommodation and food sector has been the hardest hit during the pandemic. Economic output fell by 68 per cent between February 2020 and January 2021 - the steepest fall of all sectors in the UK.

The Government has insisted that the UK’s reopening will be led by data and not dates, but as vaccine numbers increase, Stint said thousands of pubs will be asking what it will take for them to be allowed to reopen.

Sol Schlagman, co-founder of Stint, said: “The Government’s done a great job rolling out Covid vaccines and told the country that if the data looked good we would be able to return to some form of normality sooner rather than later.

“But as vaccine numbers go up and cases go down, the majority of pubs remain closed, so it looks like we’re choosing dates over data. Pub owners have spent huge amounts preparing to reopen. It’s time we let them.”

Benjamin Tan, a Stint student, said: “The last year has been really tough for students and hospitality.

"Without the businesses students typically find work being open, I have struggled to make the money I need to be able to study. If pubs reopened now, not only could students find part time jobs students like me get back to work, but we could enjoy the rest of the semester.”

Nik Antona, CAMRA national chairman, added: “Pubs matter and are a vital part of our communities.

"We are all looking forward to enjoying the social and wellbeing benefits of being back at the local and enjoying a pint of delicious local cask beer.

“It is vital that our pubs and clubs get as much support as possible over the coming weeks and months during this partial reopening.

"With outside-only opening and then the return of table-service–only indoors in a few weeks, many pubs will struggle to make ends meet after an exceptionally difficult 13 months."