Pub closures are making us all poorer, says CAMRA

Press Release

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Pub closures are making us all poorer, says CAMRA


Four out of five people in the UK have experienced a local pub closure in the last five years. A massive 80% of Brits who expressed an opinion have witnessed at least one pub close, and 21% have seen five or more close, according to new research conducted by YouGov[1].

This insight comes as CAMRA reveals its latest pub closures statistics, which have remained high at 18 per week [2]. The hardest hit areas include Greater London and the East Midlands.

These figures reveal the huge obstacles facing pubs, which are struggling under a triple whammy of high Beer Duty, rapidly rising Business Rates and VAT. As a result, a third of the cost of a pint is now made up of various taxes.

CAMRA is calling on the Government to abandon any upcoming increases to the tax paid by pubs in November's Budget. Current plans will see Beer Duty rise by around 2p per pint, and pubs are set to lose £1,000 in Business Rate Relief.

Pubs play a very important role in our national economy, contributing £23.1 billion to the UK economy annually. They also provide a wealth of social benefits to individuals and communities, bringing people together and making them happier, better connected and more trusting.

CAMRA's National Chairman Jackie Parker said: "The latest YouGov findings, coupled with our own pub closure figures, paint a dismal picture for our pubs. As taxes continue to rise, more people are choosing to drink at home and as a consequence, pubs are closing down. It's a vicious cycle.

"Pub closures make us all poorer by reducing overall tax revenues raised by the pub sector and weakening community life in areas where valued pubs close. Fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations. We are urging the Government to take action to secure the future of our pubs by relieving the tax burden."


Media Contact:

If you would like to interview a spokesperson about this story, please contact the CAMRA Press Office on:

01727 337863

Notes to Editors:

[1] All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2,070 adults of which 1,469 expressed an opinion. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th-9th July 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The YouGov survey asked: "For the following question, by "local area", we mean the area within five miles of your main home (i.e. the one you spend most time at). Thinking about the last 5 years (i.e. since the beginning of July 2013)...Approximately, how many pubs can you recall permanently closing in your local area in the last 5 years?". Of all the UK adults who responded (excluding those who responded ‘don't know'), 20% said none, 13% said one, 16% said two, 16% said three, 8% said four, 5% said five, and 21% said more than five.

[2] About the pub closure survey  

This report of pub closures covers pubs throughout the UK which are known to have closed between 1st January 2018 and 31st July 2018, with comparative data for the 12 previous months. It details pub closures and does not include new openings.

The total closures are given (permanent closures and non-permanent closures). Temporary closures, e.g. for a refurbishment, are not included in these analyses.

The data has been compiled by CAMRA's WhatPub online pub guide, which covers about 47,500 pubs in the UK. This is estimated to represent over 95% of all currently open pubs. Information is collated by several thousand CAMRA members who provide updates on pubs to the 220 CAMRA branches maintaining the WhatPub database and report to branches on pubs closing and opening. Branches then monitor these pub closures and record the key details including when and why.

Total UK pub closures Closures Per week
Jan-Jun 2018 476 18.3
Jul-Dec 2017 463 17.8
Jan-Jun 2017 525 20.2
Jul-Dec 2016 455 17.5

Total pub closures Jan-Jun 2018 Closures % Jan-18 Jun-18
England 431 1.1% 41,018 40,587
Wales 31 1.0% 3,006 2,977
Scotland 14 0.4% 3,601 3,591

Total pub closures Jan-Jun 2018 Closures % Jan-18 Jun-18
East Midlands 47 1.3% 3,498 3,451
East of England  48 1.1% 4,242 4,194
Greater London 54 1.3% 4,162 4,108
North East 13 0.7% 1,895 1,882
North West 61 0.9% 6,513 6,452
South East 61 1.0% 6,399 6,338
South West 56 1.1% 5,180 5,124
West Midlands  39 0.9% 4,341 4,302
Yorkshire and the Humber 52 1.1% 4,788 4,736


About the Great British Beer Festival

The Great British Beer Festival is one of the biggest, most exciting and well-known events in the beer and cider world. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and run by volunteers, it brings hundreds of real ales, international beers and real ciders and perries under the iconic Olympia roof. Tickets can be purchased online:

The festival opening times are: 
7 August – 12 noon-5pm (Trade Session) 
7 August – 5pm-10:30 pm (Public Session)
8 August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
9 August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
10 August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
11 August – 11am-7:00 pm (last admission half an hour before close)


CAMRA is an independent, voluntary organisation which campaigns for real ale, cider and perry as well as protecting and promoting community pubs and clubs and fighting for consumer rights. We have over 190,000 members across the country who work to champion beer and cider drinkers as well as pub and club goers.