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

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

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. 

Additionally, three pubs in Sheffield – the Devonshire Cat, the Royal Oak and the Yorkshireman Rock Bar – have announced they are closing for good.  

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

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 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

Abbeydale Brewery confirmed the Devonshire Cat's closure in June last year, saying the pandemic had a 'devastating effect on the viability of the business'

Abbeydale Brewery confirmed the Devonshire Cat’s closure in June last year, saying the pandemic had a ‘devastating effect on the viability of the business’

Abbeydale Brewery confirmed the Devonshire Cat’s closure in June last year, saying the pandemic had a ‘devastating effect on the viability of the business’.

The Royal Oak was demolished earlier this month after it was unable to reopen last October due to a chemical spillage in its car park, reports Yorkshire Live.

And the Yorkshireman Rock Bar said it would be closing in January this year and looking for a new venue due to building work next door affecting the ‘structural integrity’ of the venue. 

The latest 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.

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

The Royal Oak was demolished earlier this month after it was unable to reopen last October due to a chemical spillage in its car park (the pub pictured while it was being torn down)

The Royal Oak was demolished earlier this month after it was unable to reopen last October due to a chemical spillage in its car park (the pub pictured while it was being torn down)

The Yorkshireman Rock Bar said it would be closing in January this year and looking for a new venue due to building work next door affecting the 'structural integrity' of the venue

The Yorkshireman Rock Bar said it would be closing in January this year and looking for a new venue due to building work next door affecting the ‘structural integrity’ of the venue

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

A spokesperson for the British Beer & Pub Association spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Whilst it is too early to truly know just how many pubs have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we do know that the last year has been devastating for Britain’s pubs and brewers. 

‘Many pubs still face being lost for good and it is vital they are allowed to fully reopen without any restrictions at all as soon as it is safe to do so. Only then can the recovery truly begin for our sector.’

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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