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Greene King to close 25 pubs and axe 800 jobs

Written by: Emma Lunn
The cuts come amid growing opposition to the 10pm curfew which is hammering the hospitality industry.

According to Sky News, Greene King is planning to close down a number of pubs permanently, partly due to restrictions which prevent pubs and other hospitality venues staying open after 10pm.

Sky News has reported that Greene King has started a consultation with 800 employees of the pub chain’s 38,000-strong workforce about the redundancy process.

According to sources, 25 pubs will shut permanently, while 54 will close temporarily.

The news comes just a few weeks before the end of the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, with experts predicting thousands of job losses when the furlough scheme ends.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced last month that bars, pubs and restaurants must now shut at 10pm to slow the spread of coronavirus.

But there are rumours that are an increasing number of Conservative MPs are against the curfew with speculation that many are prepared to defy the party whip and vote against the prime minister.

Elsewhere on the high street 50 Clarks shoe shops may shut in an effort to save the company.

Clarks is said to be considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) alongside a rescue deal led by Hong Kong-based private equity firm LionRock Capital.

Up to 50 shops could close under the arrangement, with an unknown number of jobs lost.

A growing number of shops and restaurants have turned to CVAs to survive. Pizza Express is closing 73 restaurants after cutting a deal to reduce rent costs. Rival Pizza Hut is also putting forward plans for a CVA which would see 29 restaurants close.

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