Pub closures at 5 a day
Pubs in the UK are closing at the rate of 36 a week according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). That’s 5 every day and sounds shocking but does follow a recent and rising trend. In 2007 there were 27 closures a week, the year of the smoking ban in England and Wales. In 2005 just 2 pubs a week closed down.
Pubs are feeling the squeeze of the failing economy – not only are the costs of running a pub increasing but fewer people are drinking in pubs as consumer confidence wains with the credit crunch.
The British Government is not helping matters with its current proposals to wrap pubs up in more red tape such as statutory codes of conduct and higher taxes for beer, policies that will drive up costs for pubs and prices for punters. According to the BBPA, sales of beer are now at their lowest levels since the great depression of the 1930s and could drop even lower if tax increases continue.
Meanwhile, The Campaign for Real Ale group CAMRA is calling on the Government to introduce a minimum pricing policy in supermarkets to reduce the gap between shop and pub prices. The average price of a pint of lager in a pub is now £2.82 whereas in a CAMRA survey, global lager bands were found to be on sale for as little as 57p pint in the off-trade. CAMRA say heavy discounts in supermarkets are keeping people away from pubs and this is resulting in pub closures.