CAMRA has called for urgent Government action to save Britain’s historic pub culture in light of new research showing how 16 pubs now close across the country on a weekly basis. The consumer group has expressed particular concern that Government policy is failing communities on the peripheries of Britain’s towns and cities, with half of these closures (8 a week) taking place in the nation’s suburbs.

In just 2 years, 1,078 pubs have been lost in suburban areas, with many community locals battered by whirlwind beer tax hikes and deep alcohol discounting from nearby supermarket chains, bringing about a general decline in pub going by consumers. Meanwhile, high street pubs are closing at a quarter of the rate – 2 per week – of suburban locals.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, said:

Today’s figures coincide with a groundbreaking new report by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) into the social value of community pubs. The report reinforces CAMRA’s figures by highlighting the need for a radical change in Government policy that recognises the important community function many pubs perform.

Recommended measures to provide vital support include business rate relief for pubs acting as ‘centres of a community’, reform of planning laws which prevent pubs from being demolished without the need for planning permission, and improving relations between large pub companies and their lessees to offer a guest beer option and an option to become ‘free of tie’ accompanied by an open market rent review.

IPPR Associate Director, Rick Muir, said: