Graphic: Pubs top up Norwich economy by £70m each year, claims new report

Dawn Hopkins, landlady at The Rose.  Photo: Bill Smith Dawn Hopkins, landlady at The Rose. Photo: Bill Smith

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
10:26 AM

Norwich pubs top up the economy by almost £70m each year, a new report claims.

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Infographic showing the figures form a comprehensive study by economic experts Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)Infographic showing the figures form a comprehensive study by economic experts Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA)

It suggests almost 3,500 jobs are created by the industry in Norwich, with around 1,200 of these full-time.

Findings in the report - commissioned by pro-pub pressure group the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) - have sparked fresh calls for people to support their local.

The numbers were crunched by consultants at Oxford Economics, relying heavily on data in the Annual Business Survey published by the Office for National Statistics.

And the benefit in terms of jobs and impact on the economy was shown by parliamentary constituency - with £53.1m of gross value added per year in Norwich South and £16.6m in Norwich North.

In Norwich South there are 2,708 pub jobs, with 1,920 of these people directly employed in pubs, and in Norwich North there are 754 with 514 direct.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady of The Rose, in Queen’s Road, said it is “very much use it or lose it” if people want to sustain the jobs and economic boost that the pub industry contributes.

The BBPA is using the data to call for a freeze in beer duty in the budget on March 19, and Ms Hopkins welcomed this.

But she said she did not want it to be a diversion from other issues that pubs face - including cheap supermarket alcohol and price hikes from brewery chains.

Bob Cameron, landlord of the Coach and Horses in Thorpe Road, said rising beer duty is a real issue for pubs.

“If you go for a beer it’s not a cheap night out, so we’re lucky we have an on-site brewery and keep beer down as much as we can,” he said. “It needs to stop really as it’s getting ridiculous.”

He said around 26 people are employed at the Coach and Horses, with a dozen full-time and more staff at the brewery.

But he noted it is not the same story everywhere, adding: “The demise of pubs has been quite horrific over the last few years.”

Amanda Rose, landlady of The Red Lion in Bishopgate, said: “People need to support independent pubs.

“We give jobs to lots of people permanent and long-term, and we also offer training and progression.

“It’s not just a ‘filling in’ business.”

She said the industry is “struggling” and if people do not support independents you “won’t have a choice”.

Simon Wright, MP for Norwich South, said pubs make a “massive contribution” to the economy and have “huge social benefits” by bringing people together.

“It’s absolutely right that we should give pubs all the support that they rightly deserve and ensure they enjoy a healthy and vibrant future,” he added.

He said he supported government moves to scrap the beer duty escalator and cut duty by a penny per pint, and is backing calls for a pubs adjudicator to “help reform the industry to ensure landlords get a fair deal”.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Beer and pubs provide huge numbers of local jobs, especially for young people.

“Last year’s duty cut made a real difference, saving jobs across the country, boosting investment and increasing confidence.

“Yet, so much of this good work will be undone if beer duty rises again.”

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