Local pubs remain the ‘bedrock’ of UK communities

AS BRITAIN’S pubs prepare for the King’s Coronation weekend, new research has found that, despite all the social change since the last Coronation, pubs are still seen as the ‘economic and social bedrock’ of local communities.

The research, commissioned by pub company and brewer Greene King, found that four in five (82%) of those surveyed considered pubs as important for local communities, often acting as centres for local initiatives, fundraising efforts and as a home for all manner of teams and groups.

And with 58% living less than a mile from the pub, these community hubs remain in reach for a huge proportion of the population.  

The survey also found that 64% of respondents believe pubs support the local economy, while one third (34%) had worked in a pub at some point in their lives.

In its new report ‘Serving King and Country: The Great British Pub at the heart of communities’ Green King argues that as pubs still play such an important role in UK society, more should be done to protect them so they can continue to serve local communities for generations to come.

The company is itself expecting to pull around 1.8 million pints across its managed estate of circa 1600 pubs over the Coronation Weekend. The UK has a great tradition of coming together for national moments in pubs, from jubilees to sporting victories, with a third (35%) of Brits having witnessed or celebrated a national moment in a pub.

Punters celebrating in some of Greene King’s pubs will be able to sample a pint of its new Coronation Ale, specially brewed for the occasion. The company has a long tradition of brewing special beers for coronations and jubilees.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Our pubs have witnessed over 200 years of British history and evolved alongside British society over this time. The pub experience in 1953 will be unrecognisable to many of today’s customers and we pride ourselves on creating warm, welcoming spaces for millions of people of all backgrounds. We are now looking forward to welcoming customers through our doors as we come together to celebrate the King’s Coronation.  

“The social and economic impact of pubs is undeniable. Alongside the great career and training opportunities available in communities up and down the country, many pubs also provide vital services and act as hubs which support people in their local areas.

“The range of services, fundraising events and other community programmes organised by our general managers and tenants never ceases to amaze me and I am delighted to be able to showcase a handful of our fantastic pubs and the teams behind them in our new report,” said Mackenzie.

“However, we must not forget that the future of the Great British Pub is far from certain. We have been through some challenging times over the past few years and we cannot afford to take pubs for granted. We need the Government to create a regulatory environment which encourages investment – particularly through fundamental reform of business rates, which represent the highest regulatory cost burden for pubs – to enable us to continue to serve our communities, create jobs and contribute to the country’s economic growth.”