LANDLORDS in Burton and East Staffordshire said they were ‘not surprised’ at latest figures which show a rise in the number of pubs closing in the UK.
The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) said 26 pubs a week closed in the six months prior to March this year.
These latest figures mark a 33 per cent increase when compared with the 18 pubs which were closing every week previously.
Landlord Bill Ganley (left of the trio pictured), who runs The Grange, in Casey Lane, Shobnall, and The Old Cottage, in Byrkley Street, Burton, said he was ‘not at all surprised’ about the figures.
He told the Mail: “Obviously with the economy people have not got as much money in their pockets to go to pubs.”
Mr Ganley attributed the rise to the cost of rent and showing live sport.
He said: “Some pub companies are charging too much rent – they should be helping landlords out.
“They know that if they want pubs to survive they have to support us. At the moment it’s about survival.
“The sad thing is that nobody is going to take the place of the pubs which have closed. They will never open again under any circumstances.”
Stuart Scrimshaw (above, centre), landlord of The Crown Inn, Yoxall, said the figures were ‘concerning’ and claimed pubs were being priced out of the market by supermarkets offering cheap booze.
He said: “I would think people could be staying in and buying cheap drink from supermarkets.
“There’s no logic that a pint of beer costs 40p in a can or a bottle at the shop, but I have to buy it for £1.80 from the brewery.”
CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner (above right) said the cut in beer duty and scrapping of the beer duty escalator in this year’s Budget could not have come at a more important time.
But Mr Scrimshaw said: “When they cut beer duty my brewery put the price up, so it is actually costing us extra to buy it.”