Beer drinkers alarm over rising tide of pub closures across Calderdale

Closed: The Brown Horse, Coley
Closed: The Brown Horse, Coley

CALDERDALE has lost more than 100 pubs since the mid-1970s according to beer drinkers.

And, there has been a worrying spike in closures since the start of this year, reports the Halifax and Calderdale branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

Pubs officer Peter Robinson said when the branch was founded there was a pub “for every day of the year.”

At the end of 2010 there were 255 pubs trading which remained static until the latter end of the year and at the start of 2012 there were 248 pubs open.

So far this year, members have reported closures at the Crown and Anchor, Mixenden; The Old Bore, Rishworth; Hole In The Wall, Hebden Bridge; Punch Bowl, Salterhebble; and the Brown Horse, Coley.

Mr Robinson stressed it was likely some closed pubs would re-open and during 2011 there were 16 closed pubs which reopened - one of Halifax’s historic pubs The Union Cross has reopened its doors in recent weeks.

The headline figure of trading pubs is the best indicator and Mr Robinson said it seemed there was a worrying trend developing from last October and into the new year.

“Pub closures seem to again be on a downward curve,” he said.

Consumers cutting back on leisure spend during the difficult economic times is an obvious factor but Camra has concerns that important social outlets are being lost in communities.

Nationally, Camra is running “Community Pubs Month” during April championing the importance of local pubs in the wake of new figures showing 16 pubs shut each week across Great Britain.

The aim is to increase footfall and promote events from a pub quiz to a charity bash.

Camra head of marketing Tony Jerome said: “We realise it’s a tough time out there for pubs at the moment – and this initiative will help pubs market themselves.”