New Research Says Five Pubs Close Every Day as Downturn Bites

 New Research Says Five Pubs Close Every Day as Downturn Bites
A new report released on Monday says that five pubs close every day in Britain, a sharp increase over previous years and a clear reflection of the downturn gripping the country's economy.
The figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) show that over the first six months of this year, an average of 36 pubs closed each week, a 33 percent increase over last year's figures.

Pub closures this year are nine times what they were in 2006, and 18 times faster than 2005.

Throughout 2007, a total of 1,409 pubs closed down, the data compiled by GCA Strategy showed, while approximately 57,000 pubs are still operating across the country, compared with 69,000 in 1980.

"These numbers are a stark illustration of the pressures on the pub sector," said BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward.

"Economic stresses and strains are being felt by every household across the country and acutely by Britain's public houses."

The BBPA, which represents the brewing and pub sector, said in July that sales of beer had slumped to the lowest level since the Great Depression.

"Thousands of much-loved community pubs are under threat," Hayward added. "They are at the heart of every community and a major tourist draw for Britain."

The pub scene has undergone radical changes in recent years.

Regular pubs could serve after 11:00 pm from November 2005 in England and Wales, and smoking in indoor public places in England was banned by July 2007, following similar decisions by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


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