Eleven pubs in London close their doors for good every single week, according to new figures released today by the British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA).
A regional survey by the association showed that there were 281 closures in the first half of 2009 in the capital.
Meanwhile other southern regions have also been hard-hit, with eight closures a week in the South East, four a week in East Anglia and three a week in the South West.
The figures, based on earlier research by CGA Strategy which found that more than 50 pubs close each week nationwide, come a week after the BBPA launched a new campaign called "I'm backing the pub".
The campaign calls on consumers, publicans and politicians to sign up in support of the British pub. A meeting in the Red Lion pub in Westminster will be held today with regional pub leaders to highlight concern over the rate of closures.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "These new figures for London show that the loss of pubs in urban Britain is just as big a concern as pub closures in our more rural areas in the south of England. And wherever a pub closes, city or country, something precious about local community life is lost.
Last week, the BBPA also launched a new campaign manifesto, which calls on the government to reverse the 8% increase in duty on beer imposed at the time of the VAT cut last January when VAT returns to its 17.5% rate on 1 January 2010, and to scrap plans to increase duty by 2% above inflation in the Budget in March next year.
By Neil Gerrard
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