England and Wales had 113,000 pubs, restaurants, bars and clubs in the year to 30 June 2004, according to new Government figures.
Although this number is 2% (1,900 venues) down on last year, the general trend is upwards.
The Liquor Licensing survey, which is conducted every three years, found numbers were 3% higher than in 2001 and 5% up on 1992.
The proportion of premises holding full on-licences has grown in the past twelve years from 69% to 72%.
This may explain the slump in hotel residential and combined restaurant/hotel residential licences which have dropped by 34% and 27% respectively, accounting for just 4% and 3% of the total.
The biggest boom has been in pub numbers, which have soared by 10% since 1992 to 81,500 venues, representing 71% of the total.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, pubs also accounted for 186 of the 273 on-licences revoked in the 12 months to June 2004. This total is twice the figure for 2001 but in line with surveys carried out in the late 1990s.
Restaurants have also been on the rise. Numbers have climbed by 8% to 21,300 outlets, accounting for 19% of the total.
However, licensed clubs appear to be in decline. Just 3,750 were recorded this June, almost unchanged on 2001 and 500 fewer than during the peak years of the mid-1990s.
The number of new applications for licences has remained constant at around 5,000 a year over the past six years but the success rate has risen from 88% to 98% since 2001.
Full on-licences now account for 71% of all applications, compared with 54% in the early 1990s.
The driest areas include parts of outer London, the West Midlands, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire.
by Angela Frewin
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