IN our ongoing series of articles in the Back Our Pubs campaign – today I decided to look at the effect the cost-of-living crisis is having on the pubs industry.

In a recent article, I travelled to pubs across Warrington – speaking to regulars and landlords, and the cost-of-living crisis was a common topic that was having a clear effect on pubs.

Warrington Guardian:

Kevin McCarthy, 47, is the landlord of the Spread Eagle in Lymm, and told me they had gone from paying 12p per kilowatt to 49.

Energy has become one of the core components of the cost-of-living crisis, with energy companies continue to make billions in profits whilst the everyday cost to heat a room is rapidly rising.

According to ONS statistics, when asked in February almost 8 in 10 adults said, ‘a rise in their gas or electricity bills had caused their cost of living to rise over the past month.’

Pubs are falling victim of this. When speaking to London Bridge Inn landlord Anthony Curry, 39, he said: “We’re still fighting and only just returning from Covid times, people are still not feeling fully safe coming out and stuff. It’s been a challenge for three or four years now.”

As the industry slowly crawls their way back to anything resembling pre-Covid times in terms of footfall, the increased cost to energy – a key and large expense for pubs that are expected to be kept warm at all times and keep fridges going for food – has been in some cases crippling.

Whilst reiterating that they were doing well due to the lack of competition in the area and large number of regulars – landlady of The Albion Emma Worrall, 55, told me that she had gone from paying £600 to over £2,000 a month in energy alone. This is a figure that can, and in some cases has, cripple pubs that were already running on such tight margins.

Another landlord told me anonymously of the owner of a popular pub in Warrington that has been forced to pick up shifts as a taxi driver to try to keep their pub afloat.

When I asked every landlord on my journey whether they felt the government was doing enough to support pubs, the answer? A resounding and unanimous no.

Do you run a pub that's been struggling the cost-of-living crisis? Reach out to and we can help spotlight pubs in need. 

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