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BBPA report shows a slowdown in pub closures

18 November 2014 by
BBPA report shows a slowdown in pub closures

The closure rate for tenanted and leased pubs stands at five a week in the year to September 2014, according to new data.

The findings from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) are much lower than previously thought and come as pubco legislation reaches a critical stage in Parliament this week. According to the BBPA, they indicate that statutory intervention would damage the pub trade and risk a return to far higher closure rates.

MPs are today voting on an amendment to the Small Business and Enterprise Bill, which would release tied pubs from their obligation to buy beer through large pubco chains. A rental-only deal would allow the pubs to buy beer on the open market at prices up to 70% below what pub companies currently force them to pay.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds (pictured) warned: "MPs who are being urged to take action that will slow the rate of pub closures need to consider that the government's own research shows that up to 1,400 pubs would close, with 7,000 job losses if proposals being supported by some MPs to end the beer-tie are passed into law via the bill."

The figures were prepared from a survey of BBPA members operating nearly one-third of all pubs and were analysed by economic analyst Oxford Economics.

The report, How Many Pubs Are Closing?, does not include an analysis of the independent pub sector. However, the figures correspond with analysis of the Valuation Office Agency ratings database, which suggests a closure rate of around 13 per week for the whole sector based on the number of outlets classified as pubs in the database compared with a year ago.

Simmonds said: "These figures reflect the increasing confidence we are now seeing in the pub sector, very much supported by government action on beer duty, business rates and other measures introduced.

"However, we are now facing very important legislation, which could affect Britain's pubs for decades to come, and it is vital this recovery is not put at risk."

In March, the CGA-CAMRA Pub Tracker, covering April-December 2013, indicated that the number of net pub closures in the UK had risen from 26 to 28 per week.

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