Quarter of UK pubs closed since 2008

One in every four UK pubs has closed in the past 10 years, official data has revealed, but the industry is holding up in terms of income and employment.

More than 11,000 pubs have closed since 2008, the Office for National Statistics said.

This equates to a fall of 23% and brings the total number of pubs to around 39,000.

Since 2008, nearly a quarter of pubs in the UK have closed – but the turnover of the pub industry is holding up and employment is on the rise https://t.co/8HrYYQUAfQ pic.twitter.com/j0zIxqJlrL

— ONS (@ONS) November 26, 2018

But the data also showed that pubs which remain open tend to be bigger and employ more than 10 people, while turnover has been stable since the recession.

The rise in larger pubs has been linked to a focus on food, as big pub companies made the shift following the 2007 indoor smoking ban.

Employment has risen by 6%, as bigger venues and the addition of food service creates jobs for more staff.

What’s happening in the UK pub industry? Find out more in our interactive article: https://t.co/8HrYYQUAfQ pic.twitter.com/pdPMtbNz0y

— ONS (@ONS) November 26, 2018

In 2008, the average UK pub had just five employees; this had risen to eight people per pub by 2018.

This was largely driven by rural pubs, where employment was up 24%, whereas hiring at urban pubs was down 2%.

The ONS analysis shows that some areas have lost more pubs than others.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Birmingham was the worst-hit local authority area, shedding 220 pubs over the last 10 years.

The biggest rise was in Hackney, which was also the only place in London to gain more than 10 pubs in the period. An additional 30 pubs have opened in the borough since 2008.