Pub industry booming in Bromley as Bexley posts minor decline in growth this year

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 August 2019

Drinks being poured at the bar of Irish pub O'Neill's in Carnaby Street, central London.

Drinks being poured at the bar of Irish pub O'Neill's in Carnaby Street, central London.

PA Archive/PA Images

The pub industry in south east London posted minor growth in the last year according to new statistics published by City Hall this week.

Figures released by the Greater London Assembly show the number of pubs across the boroughs of Bromley and Bexley has grown from 190 in the 2017/2018 financial year to 195 last year.

This is thanks largely to a boom in the pub industry in Bromley, where there was a net gain of 10 pubs over the last 12 months, taking that boroughs total up to 105 public houses.

It was a slightly different story in Bexley, where five pubs closed, bringing their total to 90.

Those 195 pubs now in Bromley and Bexley account for just 5.5pc of London's pubs, as there were a grand total of 3,540 recorded in the capital last year.

That Londonwide number is up by 10 from the same period last year, and marks the end of a decade-long decline in the number of pubs in London.

According to a City Hall survey, 74 per cent of Londoners think pubs are important to the capital's cultural heritage, with 45 per cent visiting a pub at least once a month.

The main reasons for a visit are to socialise with friends (68pc) and eat (27pc).

Pubs are also an important attraction for tourists, with previous research showing that 54 per cent of international visitors visited one during their stay in the capital.

Employment across the pub sector has also remained stable between 2017 and 2018 at 46,000.

However, despite recent improvements, a large proportion of jobs in London pubs continue to be paid below the London Living Wage.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "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.

"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.

"I'm encouraged by these results, but with pressure from rates, rent and development, it's crucial that the government and local authorities give them their full support too."

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