UK: Pubs ‘shut at rate of 26 a week’

The Campaign for Real Ale recently held its AGM in Norwich. A delegate bones up on the agenda at St

The Campaign for Real Ale recently held its AGM in Norwich. A delegate bones up on the agenda at St Andrews Hall. - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Pub closures have increased to 26 a week, although campaigners hope the industry’s fortunes are set to improve,

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said the number of pubs shutting for good has increased from 18 a week in the past few months.

Camra said the figures showed how important it was that Chancellor George Osborne scrapped the beer duty escalator - which increased beer prices 2% above inflation - in his last Budget.

Chief executive Mike Benner said: “We believe that the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and the extra 1p off beer duty announced in this year’s Budget could mark a turning point for pubs.”

Camra has launched a campaign to have hundreds of pubs listed as “assets of community value” in a bid to stop locals being sold for short term financial gain by owners.

Mr Benner added: “We are hopeful that the fortunes of Britain’s pubs are set to change.”