Pubs in the UK have been closing at a rate of 27 a week over the past year with 1,409 pubs closing during 2007, research revealed today.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which carried out the study, warned that publicans are struggling to grapple with spiralling costs, sinking sales, fragile consumer confidence and the impact of the smoking ban.
The closure rate in 2007 was seven times faster than 2006 and 14 times faster than in 2006. Two per cent of all town centre based pubs have closed in the past six months.
Rob Hayward, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "The industry is facing very difficult trading conditions, which is resulting in the closure of hundred of pubs across the country.
"This is no time to place further regulatory or tax pressures on a great national and community asset. A vital part of the British economy and social life is under the most severe strain it has faced for decades."
The BBPA continues to campaign for a freeze in beer tax ahead of the Budget on 12 March insisting that beer volumes continue to fall, by 11% in the past decade, while beer duty has climbed 27%.
By Christopher Walton
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