Pub trade in Weymouth & Portland sees first boost in more than a decade

Pub trade in Weymouth & Portland sees first boost in more than a decade

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:32am 23rd January 2020.

More new pubs opened their doors to drinkers in Weymouth and Portland last year in the first increase for more than a decade.

Office for National Statistics data shows that the pumps were pouring at around 60 public houses in Weymouth and Portland in 2019 – an estimated five more than in the previous year.

This was the first increase since 2008.

The introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, the impact of the Great Recession and a rise in alcohol duty in 2008 have all been blamed for landlords calling last orders over the last decade.

drink alcohol

Across the UK, a 1% rise in the numbers of establishments last year to just over 39,000 was the first increase since 2007, when the figure stood at 51,000.

The number of small pubs – those with fewer than 10 employees – also rose for the first time since 2002.

National chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale Nik Antona “cautiously” welcomed the fact that pubs – especially smaller ones – appeared to be bouncing back after years of closures.

He said:

“Unfortunately pubs continue to close across the country, particularly in small or rural communities.

“This means the loss of the social, cultural and economic benefits that come with a well-run local.”

beer night out

Camra is calling on the Government to review business rates and lower the tax rate on beer sold in pubs.

While the number of locals across the UK has dropped in the long-term, there are more employees working in pubs on average than a decade ago.

In 2007, the average pub in the UK employed five people. Now, the figure stands at eight.

Rendezvous weymouth

In Weymouth and Portland, a similar trend has been seen, with the average pub employing six staff in 2019, up from five in 2007.

Craig Oakes is President of Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce. He said:

"Its great news from the chamber's point of view.

"Our remit is for businesses to grow and in turn for more employment to happen and push through more training opportunities and more employment in general because obviously boosts the economy in the area."