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Revealed: Number of pubs that have closed in Barking and Dagenham since 2001

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:59 07 December 2018

The White Horse pub being demolished. Picture: STEVE POSTON

The White Horse pub being demolished. Picture: STEVE POSTON

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Barking and Dagenham has almost half the pubs it did in 2001, figures have revealed.

Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPABrigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPA

In 2018 20 boozers were still serving compared to 45 in 2001, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

The closed pub figures include the White Horse pub in Barking which was demolished in 2016 and The Bull nearby which called last orders in 2010.

The number of staff working behind bars in Barking and Dagenham has been slashed from 500 in 2001 to 200 this year, according to the ONS numbers.

An ONS report – Economies of ale: small pubs close as chains focus on big bars – reveals that nationwide more than 11,000 boozers have been lost in the last 10 years most of them small, independent businesses.

The Bull public house in Barking. Picture: KEN MEARSThe Bull public house in Barking. Picture: KEN MEARS

Tom Stainer, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “These shocking new figures show the huge loss felt by communities as beloved locals closed down.”

He called for business rates reform, a full review of the pubs code struck between larger chains and tenant landlords and a lower rate of alcohol duty.

Alan Barker, from South West Essex CAMRA, said fewer people drinking alcohol for religious or cultural reasons and more drinking at home or in clubs helped explain the closures.

He added that mega-pubs in Romford acted as magnets for Dagenham punters.

Tom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRATom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRA

Cheaper supermarket prices, alcohol duty increases and pub ownership changes also took their toll.

However, a rise in the number of micropubs was helping elsewhere.

“In Barking and Dagenham no micropubs have opened so far, but in neighbouring Havering there are two. In south east London, there are already 16, so hopefully it won’t be long before someone decides to open one,” Mr Barker said.

Brigid Simmonds from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said Barking and Dagenham was one of the worst affected areas.

She added the smoking ban and increased beer duty hit pubs hard but the industry needed to carry on adapting.

“It’s devastating to lose a pub. They are really important. But if people want to keep them, they have got to support them. It’s urgent,” Ms Simmonds said.

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