Areas in the Black Country have been named as some of the worst in the country for the number of pub closures this year, new figures show today.
Wolverhampton, Brierley Hill and Tipton have been among the hardest hit nationally. In Wolverhampton alone, 30 pubs have called time in the past four years.
The Campaign For Real Ale says that in 2009 seven pubs in Wolverhampton closed down, five in 2010 and nine in 2011. So far this year there have already been 13 closures in and around the city.
Five closures have been reported so far in Brierley Hill this year with four recorded in Tipton, including the Royal Oak.
In Wolverhampton, The Mitre has been closed along with the former Varsity pub in the city centre.
Pub preservation officer for the Wolverhampton branch of Camra, Jim Laws, said: “There are two things, the first one is the tax on beer, which means it is more expensive to drink in pubs than to buy a drink at the supermarket.
“The other main problem is that a lot of the pubs are run by companies and they have to buy their beer from them, it is more expensive than buying it direct, which impacts on the customer.”
Nationally, Camra says 18 pubs are closing every week, a figure which has increased from 12 a week in the past year.
However, some pubs in the city are still doing well, including the popular Great Western in Corn Hill.
Licensee and proprietor Jamie Atkins said: “In the future you are not going to see anywhere near the number of pubs that you used to, but well-run, quality operations that offer value for money and service will continue.”
But it is not all gloom for the region’s pub trade.
A new Hungry Horse pub is being created as part of a wider multi-million pound transformation of the landmark Goodyear site off Stafford Road. Another landmark pub in Wolverhampton has also just been given a £160,000 facelift before being re-opened as a sports bar. The Globe, formerly the Alexandra, has been closed for six weeks.