Number of Southwark pubs remain stable according to new report

Josh Salisbury (28 August, 2019) Business Community

The number of pubs in Southwark did not change between 2017 and 2018 - meaning its 175 pubs account for five per cent of London's total

28137Image of inside of the Queen Victoria pub in Bermondsey which changed hands this year

The number of Southwark boozers has remained stable year-on-year according to a new report, despite significant changes in other London boroughs.

Figures released by City Hall this week show that the number of pubs in Southwark, 175, did not change between 2017 and 2018.

This means Southwark’s pubs account for around five per cent of all the pubs in the capital.

Neighbouring Lewisham saw the capital’s greatest percentage increase in the number of pubs with an additional twenty boozers opening in the borough in the year.

Meanwhile east London’s Newham saw the greatest fall, losing ten per cent of all its pubs between 2017-8.

However, only a third of boroughs saw their pub numbers grow – with thirteen of them seeing their number of boozers shrink.

Previous research had revealed the number of pubs in London had fallen by a quarter since 2001 as publicans struggle with high rents.

“London pubs have been a key part of our capital’s heritage for generations, helping to unite Londoners and acting as a vital hub in the community,” said Mayor Sadiq Khan.

“Sadly their numbers have been falling for decades, which is why I’ve been doing all I can to support the trade and turn this tide of closures.”

It comes amid community efforts in Southwark to fight-back against pub closures in the borough.

Among them are an effort to re-open for the former Old Justice pub as a co-operatively owned boozer in Bermondsey Wall East.

READ MORE: Traders say Late Night Levy will ‘damage local pubs’ as Southwark Council says it will review the new tax within a year

Publicans have however also raised fears over the introduction of a ‘late-night levy’, a charge which will see Southwark venues serving booze past midnight paying anywhere between £299 and £4,440 extra a year.

The money will go towards the council and Met’s night-time economy enforcement teams.

While described by publican groups as a “backward step that will sadly damage local pubs”, council cabinet member Cllr Victoria Mills said town hall bosses wanted the levy to be able to tackle alcohol-related crime.

The measure was also unanimously backed by councillors at Council Assembly, she added.

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