By Altus Group | January 11, 2021

During the 2020 calendar year, around 37 pubs a month, ‘vanished’ from English and Welsh communities that they once served having called last orders for the final time down 6% on 2019 despite the pandemic.

Analysis of official Government data by the real estate adviser Altus Group, shows that the overall number of pubs in England and Wales, liable for business rates, including those vacant and being offered to let, fell to 40,617 on 31st December 2020 down 446 compared with 41,063 on 31st December 2019.

Pubs which have ‘vanished’ from the communities that they once served have either been demolished and/or converted into other types such as homes and offices with the rate also down 51% on the 914 in 2018.


England & Wales Pub Numbers Pubs Lost
31st December 2017 42,450  
31st December 2018 41,536 914
31st December 2019 41,063 473
31st December 2020 40,617 446
Source: real estate adviser, Altus Group


Pubs in England and Wales are receiving a 1-year business rates holiday worth £768.12 million and were eligible for £557.94 million in grant funding worth either £10,000 or £25,000 per pub at the start of the pandemic last Spring.

Robert Hayton, who is Head of Property Tax at Altus Group, said “Pubs and restaurants bore the brunt of coronavirus restrictions in 2020 but proved remarkably resilient aided by Government interventions such as furlough, grants, rates relief and liquidity in the form of cheap loans.”

Last week the Treasury said that one-off top up grants again linked to business rates would be provided to help closed retail, leisure and hospitality businesses negate the economic impact of the third national lockdown.

Payments of £4,000 will be available for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000, and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.

Hayton says the top up grants for pubs will provide an additional £239.14 million in support adding “We warned of a rent debt crisis without increased levels of targeted support and this additional funding will ease those fears. The Chancellor should be commended for the swift action he took.”

Council Pubs  Support £
Cornwall Council (Unitary) 593  £    3,398,000
Westminster City Council 379  £    3,188,000
Leeds City Council 467  £    2,865,000
Liverpool City Council 452  £    2,775,000
Wiltshire Council (Unitary) 475  £    2,548,000
Birmingham City Council 384  £    2,539,000
Manchester City Council 371  £    2,404,000
Sheffield City Council 400  £    2,402,000
Shropshire Council (Unitary) 422  £    2,288,000
Durham County Council 442  £    2,225,000
Source: real estate adviser, Altus Group    



The number of pubs are based upon a detailed analysis of the Local Rating Lists in England and Wales maintained by the Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency of HMRC. The Local Rating Lists itemise all pubs with a rateable value liable for business rates through a specific SCat code and includes those currently vacant and being offered to let.



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