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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Seven Cumbrian pubs closing every month, figures show

More than 700 pubs have closed in north and west Cumbria in just eight years – more than seven every month, shock figures reveal.

And campaigners are warning more will go to the wall this year unless the Government steps in to help.

Research has found that 720 pubs shut in the Carlisle, Eden, Allerdale and Copeland council areas between 2002 and 2010.

Allerdale was hit hardest with 210 closures, followed by 185 in Eden, 180 in Carlisle and 145 in Copeland.

Phil Tuer, of the Solway branch of Camra (the Campaign for Real Ale), said: “These figures are pretty shocking and it’s only going to get worse I’m afraid.

“Labour put a year-on-year increase on duty that goes up with the rate of inflation plus a couple of per cent every year. That means in April we’re looking at about 10p on the price of a pint.

“Pubs just can’t absorb these rises, they have to pass them on to the consumer and there’s only so much disposable income people have to spend.

“Drink is a luxury and people will stop spending on it if their incomes are falling and other prices are going up – I know I don’t go to the pub anywhere near as often as I used to.

“The smoking ban has also hit pubs, especially those that don’t serve food.

“If you look around at the pubs that have closed: The Globe, on Caldewgate, the Inglewood in Harraby, the London Road Tavern, they have tended to be the pubs that don’t serve food.

“I’ve spoken to a few publicans since Christmas and they say they are keeping their heads above water but nothing more. In some country pubs it’s dire – I’ve been in some at 8pm on a Friday and they’re empty – how long can that go on for?

“People are buying drink at supermarkets where you can pay the equivalent of about £1 a pint compared to £3 a pint in a pub.

“Pubs are community assets – they have darts and dominoes teams, clubs and groups often meet there, and in some villages they provide the drink and catering for events at village halls. In Cumbria we can’t afford to keep losing these assets.”

Communities Minister Bob Neill said: “This Government is taking decisive action to support community pubs. We have doubled small business rate relief for two-and-a-half years, which gives up to 100 per cent rate relief for small firms including pubs.

“We have abolished the last Government’s cider tax, we are cutting red tape on live music in pubs and stopping unfair sales of alcohol below cost-price by supermarkets.”

Have your say

not suprising really when you cant get three pints for a tenner in cockermouth at £3.70 a pint.
They deserve to close

Posted by kevin on 31 January 2012 at 09:23

Not surprised to be honest, have you seen how much a pint is in a pub? And its not getting any cheaper.

Posted by big rich on 30 January 2012 at 19:27

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