Pubs closing at rate of 39 per week
19 January, 2009
Figures revealed as Parliament prepares to debate new mandatory code
The number of pubs closing per week in Britain has accelerated to a staggering 39 per week.
The figures, compiled by CGA Strategy for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), are released today when a new mandatory code of practice for the industry is set to be debated in Parliament.
Rob Hayward, chief executive of the BBPA, said the code would lead to even more closures.
He said: “With pubs closing at a record rate and job losses escalating, it is truly staggering that the government is proposing to hit the sector with a £300m bill for extra red tape this year alone.
“In fact, the government openly state they believe that their new regulations will lead to more pub closures and job losses.
“Pub closures are a clear demonstration of the extreme financial and economic pressures facing the sector.
“At this time of deepening recession and rising unemployment, the government should be actively looking at ways to support the community asset of the pub. They should not be introducing legislation that will condemn more pubs to closure and put more people out of work.”
The figure of 39 closures per week relates to the first six months of last year and is an increase of three per week from the previous figure of 36 given by the BBPA's research.
In total 1,973 pubs shut up shop in 2008, 40 per cent higher than the 1,409 closures reported by the BBPA in 2007.
Hayward added: “It is incomprehensible that the government not only seems to be so unconcerned about the loss of more pubs and jobs, but is introducing laws that they admit will make the problem worse. 44,000 jobs have been lost across the sector in the last couple of years and 59,000 more jobs will go unless action is taken.”
The figures reveal that community pubs are most at threat. Suburban pubs are closing at the rate of 19 a week, town centre pubs at eight a week and rural pubs at 13 a week.
Britain’s pubs are now closing almost 10 times faster than in 2006 (four a week) and nearly 20 times faster than in 2005 (two a week).