A North Yorkshire hospitality leader says one of his pubs is on a ‘knife edge’ and is under threat as the government slashes its support over energy bills.
Graham Usher, MD of Mattgray Hospitality Ltd, runs three businesses – including the Castle Inn at Cawood near Selby.
He says the pub is now making a loss every day due to spiralling energy bills – and that’s even with the present energy cap scheme.
That is due to end in March, to be replaced by a much less generous plan, which will see companies getting a small deduction from their energy bill from the beginning of April.
According to an example on the Government’s website, it could mean that a pub which was previously getting £3,100 in support every month will now get just £190.
Graham told YorkMix Radio the Castle Inn is “on a knife edge – making a loss every day opens because it’s utilities went up from £15,000 £46,000 a year.
“It doesn’t make the increased £30,000 you’ve got to spend.”
They have forecasted that the Castle will make around a £40,000 loss this year.
“Who can do that? Who can work seven days a week, 365 days a year, then get the end of the year and you’ve made a £40,000 loss? It’s just not achievable.
“We’ve had customers, we’ve been busy. But equally the difficulty is the cost of running it is now so unaffordable.”
There were other ways the government could help hospitality businesses, Graham said.
“If it can’t be done through support with energy, then there are other avenues to look at.
“The five per cent VAT rate was a godsend through Covid for hospitality. That’s one of the quick or easy fixes that helps support hospitality generally through these really difficult times.”