Rate of pub closures slows

Stat of the day: 12. The number of pubs closing every week across the UK, according to Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 10 Dec 2014

It's a significant drop from the 50 weekly pub closures reported by insolvancy specialist Begbies Traynor earlier this year, but CAMRA chief executive Mike Brenner still believes more needs to be done. 'It's encouraging to see it slowing down but behind that figure we've seen 4,500 pubs close since 2008,' he says. 'It's certainly not good news.'

CAMRA has been lobbying government for more support for pubs and breweries, including a tax reduction on beer and cider. 'Going to the pub is increasingly becoming an unaffordable activity,' explains Brenner. 'A third of the price of every pint you buy is now taxation. Excise duty on beer has increased by 42% since 2008.'

But one of the biggest problems, according to Begbies Traynor and CAMRA, is the sale of cut-price alcohol in supermarkets. 'Consumption in pubs was down by 57 million pints and at the same time there was an almost equivalent increase in terms of drinks spending in supermarkets,' reckons Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.

But there may be relief in sight for struggling locals. There are currently plans to introduce a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol in England and Wales, which could see an end to multibuy or buy one get one free deals. But will it be enough to save the Great British public house?

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