I managed to snag a free copy of the British Beer and Pub Association Statistical Handbook for 2017. It's full of numbers, which is why I wanted it. Including ones on UK pub numbers. It has a nice long set, from 1990 to 2016. What do they tell us?
A quick seach on the internet found various articles that specified the number of pubs closing each week. The ones dated 2015 and 2016 quoted closure numbers between 21 and 29 a week. One claimed that in 2009 the rate was 52 per week. Some of those figures look rather exaggerated, especially the 52 a week one.
Let's take a look at the real numbers:
|UK number of pubs|
|year||no. pubs||closures per week||5 year average closures|
|BBPA Statistical Handbook 2017, page 68.|
I was very surprised to swee that the number of pubs actually increased in the second half of the 1990's. It's also clear that the rate of closuress has varied quite a bit. With 2016 seeing the smallest drop in a decade. That wasn't what I was expecting. Though the five years 2012 to 2016 are the worst in the set.
I'm not going to get involved in arguments about the root cause. Though I expect the crash in 2008 will have played a part. If I were being clever, I'd also include the percentage of beer sold in the on and off trade and beer consumption. Maybe I'll do that, if I can be arsed.