Otis Mack
Otis Mack campaign leader


Pubs still closing but at slower rate

• Pub closures now running at 39 a week
• Closure rate down on 52 pubs a week closing in first half 2009
• Total of 2,365 pubs closed in 2009
• 24,000 jobs lost in sector in 2009

Pubs are now closing at a rate of 39 a week, down on the 52 a week closure rate in the first half of 2009, according to the latest survey from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

A net total of 1,013 pubs shut their doors for the last time between July and December 2009, with the loss of over 10,000 jobs in local communities across Britain. A total of 2,365 pubs closed during the whole of 2009.

Although these latest figures are slightly down, closures remain at historically high levels, says the BBPA. There are now 52,500 pubs in Britain – well down on the 58,600 pubs operating when the Licensing Act came into force in 2005. In addition to the loss of these vital community hubs, the Government is set to lose over £250 million in tax revenues this year, if the current closure level continues. While all types of pub are closing, in the second half of 2009, the number of independently owned ‘free houses’ fell more rapidly than the number of pubs in the leased and tenanted sector. There were 576 closures among free houses (22 a week), compared with 320 among tenanted pubs (12 a week), despite the latter being far more numerous overall – the remainder of closures are among managed pubs (117 in total at a rate of five a week). The survey also reveals that a significant number of pubs were sold into the free trade, with 735 being transferred into free house ownership from July to December 2009. With concerns about the future of many pubs still high, the BBPA is urging the public to get behind its new ‘I’m Backing the Pub’ campaign. To help ensure a more prosperous future for Britain’s much-loved locals, supporters can sign up at www.backthepub.com.

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