Where in the UK are pubs disappearing the fastest?

It might be a Great British institution, but pubs are now closing at a rate of 18 per week, painting a “dismal picture for our pubs”, according to The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), with a total of 476 closing in the first six months of the year – 13 more than the same period in 2017.

The Churchill Arms in London is known for its elaborate floral displays

In 2014, the rate of pub closures hit a high of 29 per week. Since then, a number of initiatives have been launched by CAMRA alongside MPs to ease the rate of decline in the on-trade, but the pressure on the industry remains high.

Camra’s chairman Jackie Parker said a triple threat of higher beer duties, rising business rates and VAT is continuing to force pubs out of business, with a third of the cost of a pint now made up of tax. According to CAMRA’s Good Pub Guide, the average price of a pint in the UK has risen by 13p in the past year to £3.60, as inflation pushes prices higher. (Find out which city is the cheapest for a pint in the UK here.)

It means that more people than ever are choosing to forego the pub and stay at home instead, with four out of five people surveyed reporting that they had seen a pub shut down within five miles of their home in the last five years, according to a YouGov poll. Adding to the cocktail of pressures, young people are now consuming less alcohol than ever, but are spending more if they do.

Overall, 431 pubs closed across England from January to June 2018, with the total remaining pubs standing at 40,587, compared with just 14 in Scotland and 31 in Wales.

‘Vicious cycle’

To support the industry, CAMRA is calling on the Government to abandon any upcoming increases to the tax paid by pubs in November’s Budget.

While the chancellor implemented a duty freeze on beer, wine, cider and spirits in the November 2017 Budget, meaning taxes would rise only with inflation, giving the industry some respite from rising costs, there are plans to increase beer duty by 2p per pint in November’s Budget, with pubs also set to lose £1,000 in Business Rate Relief.

Pubs contribute £23.1 billion to the UK economy annually, and also provide a “wealth of social benefits to individuals and communities, bringing people together and making them happier, better connected and more trusting”, says Camra, urging people to do more to support their local.

“The latest YouGov findings, coupled with our own pub closure figures, paint a dismal picture for our pubs,”said CAMRA’s national chairman Jackie Parker. “As taxes continue to rise, more people are choosing to drink at home and as a consequence, pubs are closing down. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Pub closures make us all poorer by reducing overall tax revenues raised by the pub sector and weakening community life in areas where valued pubs close. Fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations. We are urging the Government to take action to secure the future of our pubs by relieving the tax burden.”

But where are UK pubs are closing the fastest? Click through to see which regions have suffered the biggest loss of pubs in the first half of this year, from January to June 2018…

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