Why Pubs Matter 

The ‘public house’ is part of our history and heritage, and a cornerstone of communities up and down the land, in our cities, towns, villages.

Pubs are one of Britain’s oldest and most popular social institutions, and play a key role in our local communities, as well as being hugely important to our local economies and, collectively, to the national economy.

Pubs provide a vital local meeting places and are a focal point for community events and festivals. Pubs raise millions of pounds for charities every year, they support sports teams and host meetings for a diversity of local organisations.

Pubs play a crucial cultural role in keeping many historic folk traditions alive including traditional regional music and dancing. Pubs are also vital for the contemporary live music scene, and are credited as such by countless famous bands and musicians who started their careers playing or rehearsing in pubs. Our art and literature is full of references to pubs, and our pubs are intertwined with key moments in our history, both locally and nationally, with each and every pub having more than a tale or two to tell of its own.

Pubs are also, of course, the best place to enjoy our national drinks and are vital as a showcase for our thriving small brewing sector and independent cider makers, gin distillers and other regional craft drinks producers. Pubs also of course provide a conducive, controlled and responsible environment in which to enjoy these drinks.

Many pubs are also favourite destinations for a meal out, with all sorts of food on offer ranging from basic pub snacks and good old-fashioned pub grub, right through to gastro delicacies and true Michelin-starred restaurant food. The enduring staple of a traditional Sunday pub lunch remains an enduring family favourite weekend treat.

Pubs also provide a living to thousands of hard-working publicans and pub staff up and down the country, not to mention the suppliers that rely on their custom. An iconic part of our hospitality industry, pubs are also vital for tourism and many foreign visitors place them at or near the top of their “must do” list.

From a sunny beer garden on a hot day, to a roaring fire on a cold winter night. From a lunchtime drink in a busy city pub, to a pint at a harbourside pub in a fishing port. From Sunday lunch in a classic country pub, to a game of darts in a back-street community boozer. Pubs really are part of who we are, our local communities, our heritage, culture and history, and our identity in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Yet our pubs are under threat, and we are losing them at a distressing rate. They have long been too easy to close down and then convert or demolish, which makes them vulnerable to those who do not value them or want to preserve them in the same way that most of us do.

If we want to keep our pubs and our pub culture alive and thriving, we urgently need to campaign to change this.

A More Sustainable Future for Pubs

We have alas seen many pubs closing in recent years, with all the associated loss of community, heritage and history that this represents. Many of these closures were not necessary, with a large number driven by predatory corporate interests, whether on the part of developers, or supermarkets seeking to expand, or simply the large pub-owning companies who have long regarded pub disposals as a way to service unsustainable debt and even deliver executive bonuses.

When an area loses its pub, not only does it lose a part of its identity and its history, but it loses a community hub where people can come together. It affects community groups and sports teams who used the pub, and puts an end to any charity fundraising that may have centred around the venue. When pubs close it also makes it that bit harder to keep our folk traditions alive and to showcase live music.

The closure of each pub affects a whole supply chain, delivering a blow to brewers and cider makers, local food producers and numerous other suppliers and producers. In rural areas, the loss of a key pub can be disastrous for associated businesses such as bed and breakfasts, hotels and local shops, as the tourist appeal is reduced and visitor numbers are affected accordingly.

Our vision is for a more sustainable, freer, fairer pub sector, with far more pubs passing into the ownership of those who actually run them, owner-operators, local brewers, ethical pub companies, sympathetic individuals and local community collectives. We also believe in the right of communities to have a say over the future of their local pubs, if they are threatened with closure, demolition or change of use.

So if you agree with us, that our pubs matter – then help support, promote and protect them – join the Campaign for Pubs below.

Join Us Today

For less than the cost of a pint per month you can help save our pubs!

Join the Campaign for Pubs TODAY!