UK pubs still closing at a rate of 14 a week

UK pubs are still closing at a rate of 14 per week, according to the Campaign for Real Ale, prompting the organisation to renew calls for action from the Government to support pubs and prevent their permanent loss to communities.

UK pubs are still closing at a rate of 14 per week

The number of pub closures has dropped slightly from a rate of 18 a week last year, thanks in part to CAMRA’s success in achieving new local planning protection for pubs in England, but remains high at 14 a week.

Four years ago, the rate was much higher at a rate of 29 per week in 2014. Since then, a number of initiatives have been launched by CAMRA alongside MPs to ease the rate of decline in the on-trade.

In march 2017, the treasury announced it would ease business rates for 90% of pubs, providing a £1,000 discount to business rate bills for all properties with a rateable value below £100,000.

However without further “swift action”, Camra has said it is unlikely that many pubs will ever reopen.

“Pubs are a very important part of our national culture and are valuable community assets which help to combat loneliness and social isolation,” said Jackie Parker, CAMRA’s National Chairman. “It’s great we have seen a drop in the number of pubs closing, showing that our hard-fought campaign to get planning protection for pubs was worth it.

“Protecting pubs in the English planning system was a necessity and a welcome move from the Government. However, it’s taken nearly two years for the trickle-down effects of the planning changes to show. Our politicians should back the asks of the Save Our Pubs Campaign in full, and show they are squarely behind pubs.”

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government will be able to reduce Beer Duty specifically in pubs, according to CAMRA, which it says will help to level the playing field between the price of beer sold in social, community settings and cheap supermarket alcohol consumed at home.

This move is one of three key measures CAMRA believes the Government needs to take to halt the pace of pub closures.

The Campaign is also calling for full reviews both of the Business Rates System to fix the unfair amount pubs pay, and of currently ineffective legislation designed to enable pub tenants to get a fair deal from their big-business property owners – both moves the Government has promised but is yet to carry out.

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