The rate of pub closures in Scotland, England and Wales has slowed to 14.5 a week but the figure ‘still remains too high’, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has said.
Findings by the organisation showed a total of 378 pubs shut between July and December last year. Of those a total of 23 pubs shut in Scotland leaving the country with 2,901 pubs. There were 339 closures in England, which now has a total of 40,683 pubs, while the 16 closures in Wales means it now has 3,612.
The region with the highest number of closures was south east England, where 63 shut, while the fewest was in the north east, with 17. Despite the closure rate slowing from 18 per week, CAMRA has renewed its calls for fundamental action to save pubs. These include a reduction in beer duty to level the playing field between the price of beer paid in pubs and supermarkets as well as reviewing the business rates system.
National chairman Jackie Parker said, “Pubs are a very important part of our national culture and are valuable community assets that help to combat loneliness and social isolation. 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.”
He continued, “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.”