Leeds city centre shows one of the biggest growths of restaurant, bars and pubs in the country
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With a host of high-profile new openings, including Sakku, Oba and Sqew in Leeds, Northern cities are leading the UK in terms of new openings, despite the unprecedented challenges of the past two years.
The data looked at growth between September to December 2021.
Liverpool topped the list with a 4.4 per cent net increase in hospitality venues over the three months, while Edinburgh came third on 3.3 per cent.
Manchester was fourth on 2.5 per cent growth and Newcastle rounded out the top five with 2.3 per cent growth.
London came in ninth out of the 14 cities surveyed, with 1.6 per cent growth.
Thom Hetherington, CEO of NRB, said the findings reflected the strength and resilience of both operators and audiences in Northern cities.
He said: "Operators in cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds have suffered just like the whole hospitality sector, with huge issues around lockdown costs, lost trading and staffing.
"So, although this initial turnaround may be small, the direction of travel is a vital and encouraging change.
"It offers a much-needed burst of positivity to see so many new concepts, sites and launches and to see happy drinkers and diners flooding through the door.”
Although Thom said recent increase in hospitality venues is testament to the tenacity of the sector, he insists it is not time for complacency.
“We all understand that challenges remain, which is exactly why NRB is so important," he added.
"This is the first opportunity of the year for the industry to come together, to share stories and advice, to meet their suppliers and to source new ones.
"With ideas and inspiration from NRB and the right support from government – for example the retention of the VAT reduction – I think Northern hospitality can continue to drive the economy, supporting vital jobs and supply chains whilst also bringing good times to millions of people.”
The data for all of the cities ranked is based on CGA & AlixPartners Market Recovery Monitor. CGA has tracked all licensed premises in GB for over 25 years.
The company's director of hospitality operators and food, Karl Chessell, said: "It is highly encouraging to see some of our key cities re-energised with new investment and openings after an incredibly tough period through the pandemic.
"The recovery is fragile but there are green shoots of recovery, particularly in some of the big Northern cities.
"The role of hospitality is critical in the economic recovery and the social recovery of these vibrant cities.”
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