Pub closures drop dramatically to 21 a week

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

The number of UK pubs lost over 10 years
The number of UK pubs lost over 10 years

Related tags: Public house

Pub closures have dramatically fallen, with 21 pubs now closing a week down from 27 six months ago.

Figures published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) represent the biggest reduction in losses for years, after statistics published this year revealed a fifth of pubs have been lost in a decade​.

High streets have seen a net loss of just one pub since December, while branded food pubs and modern-style pubs and bars have increased in number.

Rural and suburban struggle

But rural and suburban communities are still​ bearing the brunt of pub closures. Rural areas saw a net loss of 231 pubs in the last six months, with suburban areas losing a net of 317 pubs.

CAMRA claimed battles for ACV legislation​ (assets of community value), a freeze in beer duty​, business rate reductions​ and local campaigns are key reasons for the encouraging statistics.

The group also argues the new pubs code and adjudicator​ in England and Wales will help resolve industry disputes and ensure fair deals for publicans, and lead to a further fall in closure rates.

ACVs

CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: "Our members have been working hard to protect valued pubs from being demolished or converted to another use – which often happens without any consideration of the local community.

"More than 1,500 pubs have now been listed as assets of community value by local campaign groups in England, which gives pubs greater protection under planning law.

"However, this is just the first step in saving British pubs."

Rate 'unacceptably high'

Valentine added: "The rate of pub closures is still alarmingly and unacceptably high. Most of these lost pubs will have been precious to the people who use them regularly.”

CAMRA has called on the Government to "level the playing field" between communities and developers by ensuring planning permission is always needed before a pub can be demolished or converted to another use.

Valentine said: “It's vital that people support their locals as much as possible. It can be as simple as visiting pubs more regularly, or using CAMRA's WhatPub.com website to find pubs near them and telling friends and family about the great pubs you have found."

Planning protection

He continued: “If you've got a valued pub near you, consider linking up with your local community to ensure it benefits from any planning protection available.

"Please lend your support to local campaigns to save pubs that are already under threat and, of course, sign up to CAMRA to join the 180,000 members committed to reducing the numbers of pubs closing across the country."

Related topics: Legislation

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