Last orders rise as Pubs feel credit crunch.

The BBC reports that UK pubs closed at a rate of 52 per week in the first half of the year - a third more than the same period in 2008.  The number of pubs has dropped by 2,377 in the past year, to a total of 53,466.

In research by the British Beer and Pub Association, local pubs were the most vulnerable as communities were hit by the fallout of the economic downturn.  The report suggested businesses that provide food were far more resilient to the recession.

And branded pubs and cafe-style bars were opening at a rate of two a week, according to the BBPA. “Pubs are already diversifying, but unfortunately if you are a community pub, you can’t transform yourself into a trendy town-centre bar,” said an association spokesman.

“The biggest impact is the recession. There are fewer people out and fewer people spending money in pubs and bars, regardless of where they are,” he said.  The rate of closures was the fastest since the number of UK pubs began being tracked, in 1990.

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