THE MP for North Shropshire has warned nearly 150 restaurants and cafes in Shropshire are at risk of closure following the Chancellor’s Budget last month.

Helen Morgan claims the confirmation that the business energy support will be slashed by 85 per cent will leave a huge gap in the finances of many in the hospitality sector.

The cut is being made by moving from a cap on unit costs of electricity and gas to a discount covering a smaller proportion of the price.

Mrs Morgan, who is a Liberal Democrat MP, said analysis by her shows that small and medium-sized pubs, restaurants, and cafes are facing an increase in bills of £231 million – around £2,623 per business in Shropshire.

And she says even successful rural pubs are now being forced to weigh up their futures after seeing their bills quadruple in just one year.


She said: “Business energy support has acted as a lifeline for pubs, restaurants and cafes across Shropshire as costs rise and rise.

“Cutting this while bills are still high and inflation is soaring will have a hugely negative impact on businesses across the county.

“In rural Shropshire, pubs are often far more than just a place to get a drink – they are the hub of their community.”

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She added: “Once again, it seems like the countryside is being hung out to dry by a government that takes rural areas like ours for granted.”

According to the Federation of Small Businesses “one in four small firms anticipate either closing, downsizing, or radically changing their business model” when business support is slashed in April.

Rural pubs, restaurants, and cafes will be particularly negatively hit by the cut, due to the higher proportion of older, larger, and harder-to-heat building stock.