Shrinking pub market a sobering sight

Pubs remain a source of revenue for catering equipment suppliers, but the total size of the market is shrinking as more licensed establishments struggle for business.

Pubs are closing at a rate of 18 a week in the UK, alarming new figures reveal.

The figure is 50% up on last year when the closure rate stood at 12 pubs a week, painting a gloomy picture for members of the licensed trade.

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450 pubs across the country have been lost since March, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) which blames high taxes and the availability of cheap alcohol for the trend.

The pressures on the pub market were revealed during the recent Parliamentary debate on the beer duty escalator, which Camra has campaigned against.

Since the beer duty escalator — a system which penalises Britain’s beer drinkers by automatically increasing duty by 2% above inflation every year — was introduced in 2008 Camra claims almost 6,000 pubs have closed.

“With pubs finding it ever harder to maintain consistent footfall at a time when prices are ever increasing, it is only hoped that Parliament will today take the first steps by voting to review punitive taxation policies on Britain’s National Drink,” said Mike Benner, Camra’s chief executive last week.

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