Thousands of pubs at risk of closure as local lockdowns ruin business

THOUSANDS of pubs are at risk as lockdowns and curfews push them to the brink, it was claimed last night.

More than 14,000 are facing the toughest restrictions because they are in the top two tiers.

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But the vast majority of them do not qualify for the government’s emergency grant scheme – putting the livelihoods at risk.

Last night a senior Labour MP said the bars and their staff had been “hung out to dry” by the government.

Businesses in the second tier claim they have been left in limbo because there is no support on offer despite major curbs on their activities.

They include pubs in large areas such as London, Nottingham, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, York and Essex.

In Greater Manchester alone, 1,405 pubs have been blocked from accessing emergency grants after months of local restrictions.

And pubs and bars in the third tier will get just a fraction of the support offered in the national lockdown.


An average-sized business will receive less than a third of previous support, £500 a week compared to £1,666 offered nationally during the first lockdown.

At the same time, £1.3 billion earmarked as business support for use throughout the crisis remains unspent.

Nearly £600 million of that money was allocated is being clawed back by ministers, because it wasn’t used by August 30 – before fresh restrictions were put in place.

Labour wants the cash freed up and used to support struggling businesses and save jobs as restrictions tighten.



Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell said: “Pubs in locked-down areas are being hung out to dry by Boris Johnson.

“Where’s the leadership from the Prime Minister? His sink or swim approach is failing.

“We need action to tackle the virus, but pubs and bars need financial support or they’ll go under.”

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