UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news

MetiNews.Com - Host Annie Gouk explores the state of pubs and bars in the north - from the long-term decline in number to the recent boom in major cities and the impact of the pandemic

UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news

MetiNews.Com - Host Annie Gouk explores the state of pubs and bars in the north - from the long-term decline in number to the recent boom in major cities and the impact of the pandemic

UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news
08 April 2021 - 16:30

Breaking News ! “There’s never been a harder time to run a pub, even before Covid. You put Covid on top and it’s frankly ridiculous.” Thom Hetherington is the chief executive of Northern Restaurant and Bar, the biggest hospitality exhibition in the north of England. Speaking to host Annie Gouk in the latest episode of The North in Numbers, he added: “It’s a very, very competitive market and pubs are having to be very smart and work very hard to survive. It’s a pretty crushing time for the industry I think.” The North in Numbers podcast tells the human stories behind the various statistics for the north of England. This episode of the podcast (the first of series two) explores the state of pubs and bars in the north - from the long-term decline in the number of boozers across the region, to the recent boom in major cities, and of course the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Listen here: Pubs and bars across the north have faced decades of decline. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the last 10 years alone, the region has lost one in every nine of its pubs and bars, with the number falling from more than 11,100 in 2010, to around 9,900 in 2020. That drop has been even steeper at a local level - with some areas such as Rochdale and Oldham losing more than one in every four pubs and bars over the last decade. Most people agree that the decline is at least partly due to changes in regulation, with moves such as the smoking ban and the crackdown on drink driving undoubtedly having an impact on the industry. However, a big part of it is also to do with major changes in the ways we drink and socialise - with it now often being cheaper to drink at home, and consumer tastes becoming more eclectic. Tom McNeeny comes from a family of publicans, and has been working in the industry since the age of 14. He’s currently a manager at the Lancashire Hospitality Co, who own several pubs in and around Rochdale. He said: “The places that close, each one of them has a story, each one of them has a landlord and a community built around it. Chef Tom McNeeney “The sadness in Rochdale is seeing the places that you knew go, and it puts a face to it. “It’s the march of progress, it’s time and it’s change and it’s inevitable, but you still miss the places that are gone.” While Manchester hasn’t escaped the long-term decline in pubs and bars seen across the north, the number of venues in the city has actually been increasing more recently. In fact, Manchester now has more pubs and bars than it did in 2010, bucking the trend seen across the region as a whole.

. She said: “When I first got involved with the Arch there were five independent pubs that I knew, and we used to walk them. When you look at it now you’re spoiled for choice on where to go. “I think it has exploded. You’ve so many areas now, you’ve the Northern Quarter, you’ve Spinningfields, you’ve Ancoats - the city has changed.” The Marble Arch However, the boom in pubs and bars - along with an explosion in the number of restaurants - has meant the city’s economy is becoming more dependent on hospitality. That’s not necessarily a good thing, considering the sector has been particularly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Rodgers said: “There are people that it’s caused mental health issues for, there are business owners out there that will never get over this, there are people that will lose their homes. “So if you’re asking me personally, we’re still fighting. If you’re asking if the industry is in a good place, it’s not. It really isn’t.” It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The pandemic has also led to a surge in pubs and bars stepping up to help out their communities - from fundraising to food bank collections. Mr Hetherington said: “Bars and pubs have really been at the forefront in this crisis of putting their hand up and trying to help, and you’ve seen that from day one. “And the thing that I find unbelievable and really heartening is that this has continued, even over nine months of grinding, crushing unfairness and difficulty for bars and pubs. “However many times they get kicked, they just keep putting their hand up and going ‘we’ll do that’. “I think it’s a really nice story that has come out of this that if anything it’s reconnected bars and pubs to their communities, because they have helped.” The North in Numbers is a Laudable production. You can find it on all major podcast platforms.

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UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news


UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news


UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news


UK The North in Numbers podcast: Pubs and bars fighting for survival last minute news

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