ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section

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Pub closures

The government think-tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF) reckons the closure of community pubs is creating a 'ghost town Britain'. With the decline of local economies and the closure of 20 pubs a week, as well as loss of banks and shops, more communities have no access to essential local services.

One of the main drivers of closures is the current churn in pub operating companies: the giants such as Enterprise Inns and Punch are swallowing middling companies, with smaller ones grabbing their leftovers and the occasional Free House. Most of this activity is driven by private investment groups and banks.

A current example is Enterprise Inns, which has become the UK's largest pubco (over 9,000 pubs) upon taking over the Unique Pub Company. To satisfy competition rules, they have to sell 250 pubs: the usual rule is to own no more than 25% of pubs in any licensing area.

Enterprise Inns is selling the pubs to a new group, Admiral Pub Company, for 62.6M. The Evening Standard (19-Mar-2004) said 155 of the pubs will immediately be sold on to County Estate Management, a pub and property company, with the rest turned into apartments and other uses.



ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA