Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Ben Arnold

Withington pub The Libertine closes temporarily over rocketing energy costs just months after opening

Withington pub The Libertine has confirmed that it has temporarily closed its doors due to rocketing energy costs. The pub closed just before Christmas, and has not re-opened since.

The former District Bank building had undergone a huge refurbishment in the summer of last year, after being picked up by the team behind much-loved city centre locations Cottonopolis and the Edinburgh Castle. It had been billed as an all-day restaurant, bar and music venue.

A spokesperson for the pub told the M.E.N: “We are currently taking stock of the energy tariffs we are on. Once we have a better idea on this we will have a clearer idea on opening back up.” The bar, which opened in August last year, was previously active on social media, but had not posted anything since mid-December.

Read more: Greater Manchester businesses accuse government of withholding promised energy support cash

Locals in the Withington area had also noticed that the pub had failed to re-open following the festive period. It’s among dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants that have been struggling with huge increases in the cost of energy and raw materials.

Student favourite The Font closed last month, along with popular Stockport-born pie restaurant Ate Days A Week. Others, meanwhile, are reporting huge increases in their energy costs as fixed term rates expire.

Jonny Heyes, who owns Common in the Northern Quarter, The Beagle in Chorlton and Nell’s at Kampus in the city centre told the Manchester Evening News that a recent bill for one of his sites that previously came in around £6,000 per month now costs him £11,000 for the same period.

Inside the Libertine (Manchester Evening News)

Some operators have also said that discounts on energy bills to businesses promised by the government have not been coming through. Night time economy advisor to the Mayor’s office, Sacha Lord, has called for an urgent investigation into why operators are reporting that support has not been arriving.

He said: “Pubs, bars and restaurants have been most damaged by the economic turbulence of the past three years, and support is now being pulled from under businesses that are only just beginning to recover.

"I'm hearing from pubs where monthly energy bills are exceeding rent payments, and others who have temporarily shut sites during the colder winter months to save on gas and electricity costs.

"We also have evidence of energy providers who have either not yet applied any government support payments to business accounts, or have not applied the full amounts owed, and we are urgently pressing Ofgem and the government to investigate."

At the same time as The Libertine was opening its doors last year, Lord was warning that many pubs would ‘struggle to make it through the winter’. UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added at the time: “Without this support there is no doubt that many of the UK's most loved pubs and bars will not survive to see the New Year, robbing many of their livelihoods and ripping the heart out of communities across the UK.”

Read next

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.