The British pub is under threat, and this is apparent to many when driving through our cities, towns and villages as they see the pubs they once knew have been knocked down, or converted to shops, restaurants or houses.
CAMRA -The Campaign for Real Ale, carried out a survey which found 31% were demolished, 36% converted to shops, cafes and restaurants, and 33% became homes.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) argue that the closures represents a threat to “an important hub of our social fabric and community history”.
BBPA provides the following closure figures for pubs.
Between 2000 and 2004 – 1000
2005 – 102
2006 – 216
2007 – 1409
2008 – 1973
It found that 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.
Why is this happening? Many reasons are given. These include rising costs in brewing, food and energy; total alcohol sales down because of the strong challenge from supermarket alcohol prices, especially beer; and, the smoking ban in pubs. There is also an argument that as the vast majority of pubs (84 per cent) are small, family-run businesses, their owners are failing to cope with changing demands and properly address problems of the business itself.
So if you like your local, remember, a pub is not just for Christmas, it’s for all year round.
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