An estimated 2,000 pubs have closed permanently during the last year as a result of the pandemic, the British Beer & Pub Association has revealed.

The trade association reported 2.1bn pints in beer sales have been lost due to a year of forced closure or severe trading restrictions, with £8.2bn in trade value wiped out from the sector in beer sales alone.

The BBPA has welcomed support for the sector in the most recent Budget, in the form of £2 billion worth of measures including grants and furlough support, but said longer term investment in the sector was still needed.

It also expressed concern for wet-led pubs, which will not be able to take advantage of the VAT cut for hospitality, which only applied to food, soft drinks and accommodation, and urged the government to provide more support for these community pubs.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “Our sector has been devastated by Covid-19 and the lockdowns. It has been a year to forget for the Great British Pub.

“Sadly, we still haven’t seen the full extent of the damage yet and won’t do for some time until things really do go back to normal. And by normal, I mean a return to what life was like pre-Covid.

“Whilst we continue to assess the full damage to our sector, I urge the government to look at providing more support for our wet-led community pubs who, although grateful for all the support they received in the Budget, will not benefit from the VAT cut to food in the same way restaurants will. Local wet-led pubs have been amongst the worst affected by the virus so it’s important the government goes that little bit further for them.”