PUB closures across Calderdale are showing signs of slowing after years’ of decline.
There are now 252 trading - just one down on the start of the year - according to Halifax and Calderdale branch of CAMRA.
When the local Campaign for Real Ale branch was formed in 1975 there were 365 pubs in Calderdale.
By 2000, that number was down to 342 and then the pace started to quicken.
The number dropped to 294 by 2007, 284 in 2008, 270 in 2009 and 253 last year.
Pubs officer Peter Robinson said there were finally grounds for optimism.
He said low property prices and more realistic demands from pub chains had helped.
“The signs are quite positive at the moment,” he said.
Well-known pubs lost in recent years include The Talbot, Illingworth; Stocks Arms, Northowram; Friendly, Boothtown and Travellers’ Rest, Sowerby.
But there have also been new pubs opening, including The Long Can Hall, Wheatley; Jubilee Refreshment Rooms and The Firehouse, both Sowerby Bridge.
Dirty Dick’s and The Murgatroyd Arms recently reopened in Halifax; brewers Lees have taken over the Turnpike at Rishworth and Wetherspoon’s have invested in The White Hart, Todmorden.
Mr Robinson said for the purpose of record keeping, Camra described pubs as having a primary function of serving alcohol and having at least one draught-style English beer.
Nationally, a Camra study found almost double the number of pubs “tied” to a company – so-called pubcos – are closing, compared to others.