Scotland's pubs and restaurants less likely to go bust

Scotland's hospitality sector has enjoyed a solid start to the year, with its restaurants and pubs less at risk of failure than the UK average, new research would suggest.

The number of Scottish pubs deemed to be at higher risk of failing is lower than the UK average. Picture: Robert Perry

Insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 said the country’s pubs were the most stable in the UK, with 17.8 per cent in the “higher-risk” band, against a UK average of 22.6 per cent – or almost one in four.

Scotland’s restaurant sector put in the second best performance, with 22.5 per cent considered to be at higher than normal risk of insolvency, compared with a UK average of just under 24 per cent.

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A fifth of Scotland’s hotels were deemed to be at higher than normal risk of going bust – slightly above the UK average of 19.4 per cent.

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Meanwhile, R3 said the festive season appeared to have given a boost to Scottish retailers, which came in second place out of all regions in the stability stakes. Scotland’s transport and haulage sector was another strong regional performer in a traditionally volatile sector.

Tim Cooper, chairman of R3 in Scotland and a partner at HBJ Gateley in Edinburgh, said: “There’s plenty of good news to toast for Scotland’s pubs and restaurants, which outperformed the UK average.

“With the weakness of the pound making the UK a more attractive holiday destination for both foreign and domestic visitors, Scottish tourism could be on course for a prosperous 2017.

“The growing popularity of online shopping, meanwhile, may be one factor underpinning confidence in the transport and haulage sector, and it’s good to see Scottish firms significantly outperforming the UK average. However … there’s no room for complacency.”