4 pubs are shutting EVERY DAY in the UK the highest rate in over 100 years

It really is closing time now... Four pubs are shutting EVERY DAY in the UK - the highest rate for more than 100 years Most closed pubs converted for residential or commercial useCo-operative pubs growing trend across the UK in face of closures 

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Four pubs are closing every day in the UK, marking the highest closure rate since 1904 when 10 per cent of pubs were forced to shut their doors by law, new findings suggest.

The majority of closed pubs are converted for residential or commercial use, the Lost Pubs Project says. According to project, while there are around 48,000 pubs in England today, they have identified more than 29,000 'lost' or closed pubs.

The Campaign for Real Ale backs up the findings, with figures showing about 29 premises a week are ceasing to be public houses. 

Rapid closures: Four pubs are closing every day in the UK, marking the highest closure rate sine 1904 when 10 per cent of pubs were forced to shut their doors by law, new findings suggest

Rapid closures: Four pubs are closing every day in the UK, marking the highest closure rate sine 1904 when 10 per cent of pubs were forced to shut their doors by law, new findings suggest

Earlier this month, JD Wetherspoon revealed it had put 34 of its pubs with an estimated value of £40million up for sale - and blamed the impact of George Osborne's Living Wage.

Tom Stainer, Head of Communications at CAMRA, told This is Money: 'It’s becoming increasingly apparent that pubs are seen as soft targets for property developers, keen to use loopholes in planning law which allow them to acquire and change the use of a pub, or demolish it completely, with no reference to the communities the pubs serve, or local planning authorities.'

Earlier this year, the Government removed certain permitted development rights for listed pubs facing closure.

JD Wetherspoon pub in central London, the pub chain said today that it would create 10,000 jobs over the next five years with the opening of 250 new pubs.

PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 1, 2009. The business, which currently employs 21,000 people and has 743 pubs across the UK, is to invest £250 million in the new outlets over the period. See PA story CITY Wetherspoon. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

File photo dated 20/01/09 Is the Wetherspoons near you up for sale? We reveal the 34... Keith and Diane Marsden - Licencees of the year award winners - who run the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley....images supplied by <script type='text/javascript'>
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Permitted development rights allow certain classes of development to go ahead without the need for express planning application. 

Pubs can apply to be listed as an 'Asset of Community Value', meaning planning permission would be required for any change of use or development on the site.

Mr Stainer said: 'We’d also urge local communities to get their local pubs listed as Assets of Community Value, which increases the protection for pubs.' 

Protection:  Earlier this year, the Government removed certain permitted development rights for listed pubs facing closure

Protection:  Earlier this year, the Government removed certain permitted development rights for listed pubs facing closure

Another option for communities faced with pub closures is the establishment of co-operative pubs, where people combine forces to own the pub.

The Plunkett Foundation, which helps set up community co-operatives, said: 'Currently, most co-operative pubs are made up of communities that have purchased the building; however, if they feel it is appropriate, communities may choose to take on a lease initially, with a view to purchasing the property in the future.

'A co-operative pub can distribute profits to its members as a dividend, reinvest the profit back into the business or distribute it through community projects to the wider benefit of the community.'

While the number of pubs is diminishing, beer sales are on the up, according to recent data from the British Beer & Pub Association. 

Community spirit: Another option for communities faced with pub closures is the establishment of co-operative pubs, where people combine forces to own the pub

Community spirit: Another option for communities faced with pub closures is the establishment of co-operative pubs, where people combine forces to own the pub

UK beer sales rose by 3.9 per cent in the third quarter compared to 2014 levels, with the Rugby World Cup and off-trade sales helping to boost trade, the BBPA said.

While third quarter sales increased, the annual trend in beer sales has been more stable, dipping 0.4 per cent below the previous 12 months, the data suggests.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: 'There is a real opportunity to build on these strong figures and secure future growth, with continued action to reduce beer duty. 

'Despite positive action from the Government, with three, one penny duty cuts in recent years, duty still places far too great a burden on British brewers and beer drinkers when compared to our main competitors in the European Union.

'With further tax cuts we can create jobs and protect pubs, where beer is the cornerstone of sales.'  

Up and up: The average cost of a pint in the UK since 2005, according to the BBPA

Up and up: The average cost of a pint in the UK since 2005, according to the BBPA

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