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Number of Norfolk pubs on rise, despite 300 closing across country

Adam and Eve landlady Rita McCluskey.; Photo by Simon Finlay

Adam and Eve landlady Rita McCluskey.; Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

The number of pubs in Norfolk is increasing despite 300 community pubs across the country closing in just six months.

New figures released by Camra show that 12 pubs are now closing across Britain every week – eight in suburban areas, and four in rural areas.

New county breakdown figures for the six months between September 2011 and March 2012 show that Lancashire, which has lost 68 pubs, and the West Midlands, 37, are among the hardest hit areas.

But Norfolk, which has gained six pubs in the same period, is among the best. However, Suffolk has lost 12 pubs over the period.

The figures have been welcomed by publicans and Camra officers in Norwich.

Rita McCluskey, landlady at the Adam and Eve pub in Bishopgate, said: “The quality and quantity of local real ales is exceptional.

“There’s been a huge rise in the number of places brewing, and they are all hitting the right formula and finding a market. Licensees in Norfolk are dedicated to service and will try their hardest to help customers.”

Mike Spivey, Norwich and Norfolk Camra pubs preservation officer, said the city had built a reputation as being a great place for real ales.

He said: “Last year’s City of Ale event was a great success and the second event soon starts. I think that tells you quite a lot, and breweries think the county is a good place to open a pub. Most of the pubs that have closed here have been tied to big companies like Punch and Enterprise Inns.”

Meanwhile, with pubs hit by an inflation-busting 42pc increase in beer duty since 2008, Camra is continuing to rally drinkers to sign an e-petition to call for an end to above-inflation increases in beer tax.

With over 33,000 consumers backing the petition, at www.camra.org.uk/saveyourpint, Camra is lobbying to secure 100,000 signatures and force a debate in Parliament on the issue.

Mike Benner, Camra Chief Executive, who will open the City of Ale event in Norwich later this month, said: “Whether situated in a small village, city high street, or on the edge of a housing estate, pubs are so central to our society that whole communities can grow around a particular pub.

“A threat to the future of traditional pubs is therefore also a threat to countless social groups within Britain that thrive because of their local.”

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Call David Bale with any pub story on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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