Home Business News Three London pubs "closing every week"

Three London pubs "closing every week"

by LLB Editor
16th Sep 11 11:50 am

A study has suggested that three pubs closed every week in London during the first half of the year.

The figures, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), revealed that between last December and June, 166 pubs closed in the capital.

However the CAMRA figures also revealed that some 87 pubs opened during the period.

Jonathan Mail, CAMRA head of public affairs, said: “Pubs in London are not only a major tourist attraction but they are also provide Londoners with invaluable places to relax and socialise after work or during weekends.”

A British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) spokesperson said: “While closures have slowed overall, the pub trade in London is clearly still suffering, as it is elsewhere.

“The Government needs to call a halt to massive tax hikes on Britain’s beer, which is draining business from pubs. Since March 2008, it’s gone up 35 per cent.

“British beer drinkers pay eight times more beer tax than the French and 12 times more than the Germans, yet there are more big increases promised. We also need government to back up words with deeds when it comes to cutting red tape for small family businesses like pubs.”

Read Pete Brown’s column: The pub is dead. Long live the pub.

The CAMRA report found that on a national level, two pubs were closing in Britain every day.

The research suggested the figures reflected the combined effects of tax increases, supermarket promotions and lack of support for licensees.

CAMRA said that nearly double the number of pub-cos are closing compared to others. Pubcos are those which are “tied” to a company.

The research suggested that such premises were paying as much as 45 per cent more for their beer, as their status rules them out of buying on the open market.

“The number of tied pubs has fallen by 3,216 since 2008 as the large pub companies have failed to support their licensees through tough times,” said CAMRA.

Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, said: “These figures show a spiralling decline in the tied pub sector, brought about by big pubcos squeezing their licensees with high beer prices and creating an environment where many publicans are unable to invest in their businesses.

“While many tied publicans struggle in the face of high rents and excessive beer prices, free of tie owners are faring better in the current climate with the ability to offer greater beer choice, lower prices and a better pub environment to the consumer.”

However a spokesperson for the BBPA added: “These new figures seem to show that the net rate of pub closures, while still worryingly high, has sharply declined from the 2010 figure of 26 per week, and is now down by 73 per cent from its peak.

“Pub closures are no greater a problem in the tenanted sector than elsewhere. All types of pubs are facing very high taxes, with beer tax up 35 per cent since March 2008, and too much red tape. “

 

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