The future is looking brighter for Britain’s pubs as figures published by the Campaign for Real Ale show that pub closure rates are slowing.
The net number of pubs closing per week has fallen from 27 to 21 in the last six months. In response CAMRA has urged the public to continue supporting local pubs to make sure pub closures continue to fall.
The drop in closure numbers shows that the campaigning work carried out by CAMRA members is beginning to take effect. A high profile campaign to seek additional planning protection for locals launched by CAMRA last year, combined with a freeze in beer duty and strong local campaigns to support local pubs, have contributed to the fall.
CAMRA is now calling on people all over the UK to help the effort to continue to drive pub closure figures down further by supporting their local pubs.
CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: “Our members have been working hard to protect valued pubs from being demolished or converted to another use - which often happens without any consideration of the local community. More than 1,500 pubs have now been listed as Assets of Community Value (ACV) by local campaign groups in England, which gives pubs greater protection under planning law.
“However this is just the first step in saving British pubs. The rate of pub closures is still alarmingly and unacceptably high. Most of these lost pubs will have been precious to the people who use them regularly. It’s vital that people support their locals as much as possible. It can be as simple as visiting pubs more regularly, or using CAMRA’s WhatPub.com to find pubs near them and telling friends and family about the great pubs you have found. If you’ve got a valued pub near you, consider linking up with your local community to ensure it benefits from any planning protection available.
“Please lend your support to local campaigns to save pubs which are already under threat and, of course, sign up to CAMRA to join the 180,000 members committed to reducing the numbers of pubs closing across the country.”
CAMRA’s figures show that rural and suburban communities are still bearing the brunt of pub closures. Rural areas saw a net loss of 231 pubs in the last six months, with suburban areas losing a net total of 317 pubs. High streets have seen a net loss of one pub since December. Positively, however, the number of branded food pubs and modern style pubs and bars have seen an increase over the last six months.