Pubs Facts & Figures
How many pubs are there in Britain? Well, it depends firstly on how you define a pub. According to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the main trade body, there were 50395 pubs in 2011 (down from 67800 in 1982). What exactly they consider a pub to be, we don't know but we assume they exclude other licensed premises such as restaurants and night clubs. CAMRA has produced its own definition of a pub (link) which may or may not be more restrictive than the BBPA's.
CAMRA's Pub Watch Survey (conducted by CAMRA Branches) found that 18 pubs per week closed permanently in 2012 – significantly down from the 52 per week of early 2009 but still a horrible rate of attrition. In recent years, losses have been heaviest in urban areas, particularly amongst pubs outside city/town centres. Many of these were traditional, drinks-led community locals. Most Local Planning Authorities covering rural areas now have policies in place to protect the last pub in a settlement from change of use, which has helped stem losses in villages.
As regards who owns our pubs, the most recently available figures are again from the BBPA – for 2009 when there were 55530 pubs. Of these, 8900 belonged to regional breweries (6500 tenanted, 2400 managed), 28400 were owned by pub companies (22300 tenanted, 6100 managed) and there were 18230 free houses.
The biggest owners then amongst the pub companies were Enterprise Inns (6800), Punch Taverns (5080), Admiral Taverns (1700), Mitchells & Butlers (1600), Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (1400) and Spirit Group (1352)
Since then, four of these companies have sought to reduce their crippling levels of debt by selling pubs so their figures now are:
- Enterprise – 5720
- Punch – 4300
- Admiral - 1200
- Spirit – 800
Also, S&N Pub Co has renamed itself Star Pubs & Bars.