Number of licensed premises rising in two out of three British towns

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Signs industry is on 'the front foot' according to CGA Peach head Peter Martin
Signs industry is on 'the front foot' according to CGA Peach head Peter Martin

Related tags Market growth monitor Town

Nearly two in three British towns have seen their numbers of pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs rise or stay the same according to the latest Market Growth Monitor from AlixPartners and CGA Peach.

Exclusive research showed that of the 236 British towns with more than a 100 licensed premises, only 85 saw their numbers of pubs, bars and restaurants fall.

Milton Keynes emerged as the fastest growing town, with cities like Coventry, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Bristol all continuing to attract new openings.

The report said that the figures ‘were evidence that the licensed trade is back in growth after years of steady decline, mostly driven by the closure of drink-led pubs.”

However, the report stressed that growth is being driven by food-led venues and casual dining restaurants in particular, with 203 out of 236 towns increasing the number of food-led venues over the last year.

Towns in the north of England are still seeing a decline in the number of licensed premises with Burton-on-Trent, Oldham, Rotherham, Stafford and Barnsley all seeing a fall of more than 10% in the last five years.

CGA Peach vice president Peter Martin said that the overall picture for the eating and drinking out sector was looking bright.

“Our first Market Growth Monitor showed that many large UK cities are sharply increasing their numbers of restaurants and bars, and this latest data shows the pattern is fanning out to suburban and market towns too.

"It is particularly pleasing to see the growth extended well beyond London and the south east, with more and more operators recognizing potential in the regions. While capacity remains an issue, it is encouraging to see the sector firmly on the front foot.”

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