Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Last Orders at Your Local? the Traditional Boozer's Days Could Be Numbered as the Number of People Frequenting Them Decline in Favour of Supermarkets and Eateries. Craig Thompson Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Last Orders at Your Local? the Traditional Boozer's Days Could Be Numbered as the Number of People Frequenting Them Decline in Favour of Supermarkets and Eateries. Craig Thompson Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Thompson

The Waterline S the Tyneside "local" dying a slow death? IFigures obtained by the Chronicle reveal that four pubs a week in the region are calling time on business.

Some of the area's most recognisable watering holes are being forced to close their doors as the traditional boozer makes way for coffee shops, mini supermarkets and trendy cafes.

Many of those closing are on city estates rather than city centres, with communities powerless to stop their demise.

Figures reveal that between June 2015 and December 2015, 107 pubs closed in the region. While these closures include city centre venues and wine bars, hardest hit is the traditional "local".

Nationally the number of pubs closing fell from 53,444 in June 2015 to 52,750 by December 2015 - with almost half of these being traditional "local" pubs.

Across Tyneside once-popular venues have been forced to shut their doors in recent years as many fall victim to declining customer numbers. With thousands of once loyal customers now opting to buy cheaper supermarket alcohol, the number of traditional pub drinkers has fallen significantly.

Once thriving venues like The Punch Bowl and The Cradlewell in Jesmond have called time.

While many are left standing as empty eyesores, others have been knocked down or turned into retail stores. Many have become supermarkets in recent years include The Lodge, in Durham City, which is now a Sainsburys and The Prospect in Sunderland which became a Lidl.

Supermarkets tend to favour taking over drinking venues as no planning permission is needed to transfer their use.

Like the Northumberland Arms in Shiremoor which is set to become an Italian eatery, many others have been turned into restaurants or coffee shops.

In more rural communities, residents have rallied together in efforts to save their local watering holes.

Villagers living in Slaley in Northumberland worked hard to keep the much-loved Rose and Crown pub open after taking over the venue.

They set about plans to buy the pub themselves and formed Slaley Community Assets Ltd (SCAL), creating Turn to Page 28 From Page 27 shareholders who invested around PS500 each. …

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