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Cheer as pub closure rate declines

Added: Thursday, July 14th 2016


The future is looking brighter for Britain’s pubs as figures published by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, show closure rates are slowing – with the net number of pubs closing each week falling from 27 to 21 over the past six months.

In response, CAMRA, has urged the public to continue supporting local pubs to ensure closures continue to fall.

It says the drop in closures shows that the campaigning work carried out by CAMRA members is beginning to take effect. A high profile campaign seeking additional planning protection for locals, launched by CAMRA in 2015, combined with a freeze on beer duty, have contributed to the fall in closures, it adds.

CAMRA also argues that the new Pubs Code and Pubs Adjudicator in England and Wales will help resolve disputes and ensure fair deals for publicans, which should cut closure rates fall still further.

CAMRA is calling on people throughout the country to help the efforts to continue to drive pub closure figures further by supporting their local pubs.

CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine says: “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 (ACVs) by local campaign groups in England, which gives pubs greater protection under planning laws.

“But this is just the first step in saving British pubs. The rate of closure is still alarming and unacceptably high. Most of these lost pubs will have been precious to the people who sued them regularly. 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 to find pubs near them and telling friends and family about the great pubs you have found.

“If you have a valued pub near you, consider linking up with your local community to ensure it benefits from any planning protection available. Please give your support to local campaigns to save pubs that are already under threat and sign up to CAMRA to join 180,000 members committed to reducing the numbers of pubs closing across the country.”

CAMRA’s figures show that rural and suburban communities are still bearing the brunt of pub closures. Rural areas saw a net loss of 231 pubs in the past six months, with suburban pubs losing a net total of 317 pubs.

High streets have seen a net loss of one pub since last December. The number of branded food pubs along with modern style pubs and bars, have all seen increases over the past six months.

CAMRA continues to call 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.

*CAMRA Pub Tracker figures are compiled by CGA Strategy and cover the period December 2015 to June 2016. Total pubs December 2015: 52,750. Total pubs June 2016: 52,201. Gross closures over the period were 1,270 with gross openings of 721. Net closure total: 549.