New figures show that since 2001 over 1,220 pubs have shut down, an average of 81 pubs a year. As a result, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has pledged to protect London’s pubs and to ensure that the number of pubs closing drops significantly by 2030.
Research conducted by Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) and Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) shows that the number of pubs in the capital had dropped from 4,835 in 2001, to 3,615 in 2016 – a decline of 25% in under 15 years. Boroughs such as Barking and Dagenham and Newham are worst affected, losing more than half their pubs in this time period, yet the Mayor has expressed his plans to ensure public houses in London receive increased support.
According to the Mayor of London’s website, over half of tourists regularly visit a pub during their stay. Furthermore, pubs contribute massively to UK employment with a sixth of 18-24 year olds having worked in one. In 2016, employment increased by 8.7% despite the rapid decline in pubs.
Sadiq Khan pledges “to do everything in his power to make it harder for pubs to shut… The Great British Pub is at the heart of the capital’s culture. From traditional working men’s clubs to cutting-edge micro-breweries, London’s locals are as diverse and eclectic as the people who frequent them… That’s why I’m shocked at the rate of closure highlighted by these statistics, and why we have partnered with CAMRA to ensure we can track the number of pubs open in the capital and redouble our efforts to stem the rate of closures.”
The partnership with CAMRA aims to conquer and reduce the number of public house closures in the capital. A yearly audit will be undertaken as part of the mayor’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan for 2030 which aims to better sustain and preserve culture within London. The partnership with CAMRA will help to better monitor the activity and will look at ways to reduce the significant number of closures.
With business rates currently contributing massively to closures, Khan’s campaign should throw a possible lifeline to many pubs in London who are struggling with market changes. To find out more about how you can manage your pub, our article – “29 Pubs Close a Week – What Can Be Done to Save Mine?” provides advice on what you can do to sustain.