Pub closures have slowed slightly but pubs are still shutting their doors at the rate of 25 a week across Britain.
That's the warning from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which has once again renewed its call on the Government to abandon plans for an increase in beer tax in next week's Budget.
At their peak last year, closures were running at 40 per week. The BBPA said there were 1,300 fewer pubs in Britain by the end of 2010, resulting in the loss of 13,000 jobs across the country. The rate of losses is highest in London and the North West.
BBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said: "The closure of 25 pubs every week is bad news for the economy, as the sector plays such a vital role. It's also a blow for local communities, with pubs often acting as the hub of local life.
"With the right policies, this vital part of our tourism and hospitality sector could be creating new jobs, and helping to bring Britain out of recession. If we really do have a pub-friendly Government, as the Prime Minister says, the time to act is now - with a freeze in beer duty in the Budget."
By Neil Gerrard
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