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Essex: Importance of pubs revealed as figures show the trade in north Essex pumps more than £130million into economy

PUBLISHED: 15:17 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:17 20 February 2014

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The importance of pubs and breweries to north Essex was revealed last night as new figures showed the industry pumps more than £130million into the economy.

More than 6,800 people are also employed, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the trade in the area, according to the report, commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The figures have been released following a challenging period which has seen seven pubs across Suffolk and north Essex being converted into supermarkets over the last two years.

Campaigners have said the data shows how important the industry is.

Trevor Simpson, of the Colchester and north east Essex branch of CAMRA, said: “It is enormously important. Not only do they (pubs) provide a place to drink, they also provide people with a place to meet.

“It is not just the pubs themselves, there are also the people that run them and there is the brewing industry as well.”

Liz Cobbold, head of marketing at Southwold-based Adnams, said the pub trade was important, not just to owners, but to those in the supply chain as well, including farmers.

She added: “Lots of people gave up alcohol in January but pubs are not just about drinking, they are about bringing communities together.

“It is more than just a place to drink, because you can do that at home. We are really trying to build community pubs and pubs that know their local area.”

The study has been put together by Oxford Economics and the results separated into the impact the trade has on parliamentary constituencies and local authority areas.

The report has mainly relied mainly on data in the Annual Business Survey published by the Office for National Statistics.

In north Essex, the figures show there is £46.4m gross value added per year in Colchester while the figure stands at £39.7m for the Braintree local authority area.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said the figures show how important the industry is across the country but that a freeze in beer duty would boost growth and jobs across the region.

She added: “East Anglia is a British brewing heartland, with local brewers like Adnams having a big economic impact on the region.

“Pubs also play a vital role, not just for local residents, but also for the tourism economy in Suffolk and Norfolk, which employs over 70,000 people.”

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