Pub closures slow to 29 a week

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Related tags: Pub closures, Cga strategy, Alcoholic beverage

Pub closures have slowed to a net figure of 29 a week in the first half of 2010, according to CGA Strategy chief executive Jon Collins. But Collins...

Pub closures have slowed to a net figure of 29 a week in the first half of 2010, according to CGA Strategy chief executive Jon Collins.

But Collins warned that, although significantly down from the peak of 52 pubs closing a week in 2009, this still represented 50 pubs shutting up and 21 re-opening every week.

Speaking at the launch of a report into student drinking, he labelled proposed changes to the licensing regime as "unnecessary".

Collins said: "Town centres are less busy than ever. At this time when the market is contracting, more sanctions being needed just doesn't ring true."

He went on: "Eighty-five per cent of people feel safe on the streets," and criticised a "skewed" picture of Britain's town centres due to "the bad behaviour of a few".

Calls for a culture change

Also speaking at the launch, National Union of Students (NUS) welfare representative Ben Whittaker called for a change in a heavy drinking culture among students.

"We recognise that students play an important part in the night time economy", he said, and expressed a need to work on "redefining what is a good night".

Paul Smith, executive director of Noctis, agreed that a culture change on the high street was necessary.

He announced that Noctis will be working with the NUS on a project, and called for retailers to encourage responsible drinking too.

He said: "It makes absolutely no sense for [drinks] brand owners to be the vanguard of 'Binge Britain' and they know this."

One proposal Whittaker hopes to encourage in the project is free jugs of soft drinks in student bars to encourage them to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

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