When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
There is little cheer for struggling pubs, say insolvency experts
INSOLVENCY experts have warned that nearly a third of Cumbria’s pubs and bars are at risk of failure in the next 12 months.
Figures, released by insolvency trade body R3, show 46 pub businesses in Cumbria face collapse.
Some restaurants are also strug-gling, with 20 per cent considered at risk, equivalent to 38 businesses.
Their findings come as Punch Taverns, the UK’s largest pub oper-ator, has revealed it is experiencing financial distress. Jeremy Oddie, the North West regional chair of R3, said: “The downturn has gone on far longer than could have been predicted and it is getting harder for people to find the money to spend on discretionary items.
“Instead of going to the pub, many people are buying drinks from the supermarket and stopping in.
“The strain on pubs and bars is really showing.”
Despite the grim reading for hospitality workers, latest statistics suggest Cumbrian establishments are faring marginally better than the national average.
In the UK, 35 per cent of pubs are at risk and in London the figure has reached 37 per cent.
Mr Oddie added: “Many bars are offering incentives and discounts to try to get people through the door, but for some even this will not be enough.
“Customers are getting more and more discerning about what they drink and where.
“Those which cannot compete with the most trendy, convenient or best value may well face closure in the not too distant future.”
Richard Coleman, proprietor of The Eagle and Child Inn at Staveley, said they had faced difficult trading times for two years.
“It is still a struggle,” he said. “We have noticed the downturn in profits over the last two years. It doesn’t look like it’s getting better.”
He added that the pub, which has been established for 14 years, put on special offers such as ‘lunch for a fiver’ to draw in punters, and also benefited from a loyal customer base.