Revealed: Number of pubs that have closed in Tower Hamlets since 2001

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:19 07 December 2018

Tom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRA

Tom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRA


Tower Hamlets has lost 75 pubs although more people are working in the trade, figures have revealed.

Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPABrigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPA

In 2018 130 boozers are still serving compared to 205 in 2001, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

Among those closed in Tower Hamlets are The Carlton in Stepney Green the ground floor of which was totally demolished without permission by a developer.

But the number of staff working behind bars has risen from 1,000 in 2001 to 1,500 this year as bigger pub chains employ more.

Frankie Colclough, landlord of The Eleanor Arms in Old Ford Road, Bow, said antisocial behaviour had shut some East End locals.

And The Eleanor has bucked the trend of pubs having to adapt by offering food to bring the punters in.

On the secret of its success, Mr Colclough said: “It’s all about being part of the community. Only three of us run the pub so we know our customers well.

“But I think in some places there are too many pubs. It used to be that pubs were the only places to go, but it’s changed since the 1960s and 70s.”

He added that better home entertainment, higher prices, increased business rates and inexperienced people becoming pub tenants had taken their toll.

Tom Stainer, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “These shocking new figures show the huge loss that has been felt by communities as beloved locals closed down.”

Mr Stainer urged the government to save pubs calling for business rates reform, a review of the pubs code between larger chains and tenant landlords and lower rate of duty on beer sold in boozers.

Brigid Simmonds from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the smoking ban also hit pubs hard but the industry needed to carry on adapting to survive in the face of increased competition and changing drinking habits.

“Populations have changed, but pubs play a role as meeting places selling soft and non-alcoholic drinks. They have adapted.

“But it’s devastating to lose a pub. If people want to keep them they have got to go out and support them,” she said.

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