Worries over future of pubs

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Concerns have been raised over the future of more than 60 Sheffield pubs.

Punch Taverns, which runs 61 pubs in the city, revealed it could appoint an ‘administrative receiver’ if its restructuring efforts fail and lead to a default on debt.

Sheffield CAMRA’s Mike Rose said: “This is serious, unfortunately and, yes, we would be concerned about the future of those pubs.

“Sheffield has a healthy pub trade but a lot are closing.

“Pubs are in trouble.”

Punch’s executive chairman Stephen Billingham said in a report that ‘no-one can be in any doubt about the consequences of failing to agree a consensual deal’.

But the firm also pointed to a £1.1 million investment in Sheffield pubs in the past year which it claims has created 50 new jobs.

The company said it ‘would not expect’ pubs to close.

A Punch spokesman said: “Punch management are working very hard to agree a consensual restructuring.

“We would expect an administrative receiver to treat all tenants fairly, as they are vital to the future success of the business.

“We would not therefore expect them to close pubs.

“We would continue to supply beer, support our partners, invest in our pubs and let pubs to new partners - very much business as usual.”