A new report has revealed that the UK pub industry is reversing a decade of numerical decline, with a net growth of 320 pub/bars, a possible extra 8,975 jobs, and additional cash turnover of £740m nationwide.

Stampede, a Leith-based start-up offering digital growth services to the hospitality sector and hundreds of pubs in the UK, revealed the figures in its Raising the Bar report, featuring official labour market statistics from the Office of National Statistics.

Between 2010 and 2018, the UK had a net loss of 5,855 pubs, an average of 732 per year. However, there was a net gain of 320 pubs in 2019.

England saw the greatest increase (345) compared to Scotland (-5) Wales (-25) and Northern Ireland (5), which were relatively static.

The net growth of pubs in 2018 and 2019 may have created an extra 8,975 jobs nationwide, based on the net increase of pubs multiplied by their number of employees (across pubs of multiple employment size bands).

Using a similar formula, Stampede calculated that pubs made an extra £740,875,000 in 2019 against 2018 (based on the ONS turnover size band data).

‘Pubs have a hugely important place in our society’

Large pub groups are driving the most growth in the sector. The biggest increase (205) comes from pub enterprises with a turnover of £500,000 to £1,000,000, and the second biggest increase (125) was in the £1m to £2m bracket. By contrast, the UK had a net loss of 55 for pub enterprises with a turnover of less than £100,000.

By region, the South East has the most pubs (5,340), but only grew by ten in 2019. The North East grew the most (85), followed closely by the West Midlands (80).

Licensed clubs remain on the decline, while London lost ten pubs overall, but saw a net increase in ten out of 33 boroughs.

Stampede founder and chief executive, Patrick Clover, said: “The pub trade has had very little to celebrate in the last decade, but I’m sure they’ll raise a glass to these new numbers.

“Pubs have a hugely important place in our society, both socially as well as economically, being one of the UK’s biggest employers. The reduction of pubs over the last decade has been heart-breaking, following devastating changes to business taxes and alcohol duties, but I hope these figures signpost a reversal of fortunes.”

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