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52 pubs closing every week says BBPA

Published:  22 July, 2009

The rate of UK pub closures has increased by a third in the first six months of the year, according to new figures from the British Beer & Pub Association.

The weekly rate increased from 39 in the first half of 2008 to 52 in 2009.

Some 2,377 pubs have closed in the last year with estimated job losses of 24,000.

The number of pub closures over the past three years is put at 5,134.

The BBPA blamed above-average increases in alcohol duty, regulation costs and the economy.

Chief executive David Long said: "The recession is proving extremely long for Britain's pubs.

"These pressures have been made much worse by a Government that has continued to pile on tax and regulatory burdens.

"The last two Budgets have seen a 20% increase in beer tax, which alone has added more than £600 million to our tax bill.

"While every other sector seems to receive a sympathetic ear and a tax-payer funded handout from government to tide  them through the downturn, all we are getting is a deaf ear and a higher tax bill."

Community pubs were hardest hit, with around 40 a week closing in the period covered by the report.