Resort’s bucking beer slump trend

Dave Daly, Landlord of The Castle pub on Central Drive, Blackpool (for 24 hour licensing story). PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-7-2010
Dave Daly, Landlord of The Castle pub on Central Drive, Blackpool (for 24 hour licensing story). PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-7-2010
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A LANDLORD says Blackpool is bucking the trend despite figures revealing beer sales have slumped by almost 10 per cent nationally.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) reckon pub sales were down by 4.5 per cent in the three months to June as beer tax and VAT rises wiped out the positive impact of the warm weather and royal wedding.

And in the year to June, sales were down by 7.1 per cent as the cumulative impact of tax rises added 10p to the price of a pint in pubs.

But Dave Daly, national Pub watch co-ordinator for the north-west, believes Blackpool is holding its own.

He said: “The town centre is definitely up, we’re having a revival.

“Blackpool has had some really positive press recently with the regeneration and football club.

“People are staying at home instead of travelling abroad and we have found quite a few of them are coming to the town.”

Mr Daly, landlord of The Castle, on Central Drive, told The Gazette his pub was up by 10 per cent on last year.

He added: “Things can change but so far we are doing well – let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said sales were a ‘barometer of Britain’s economic confidence’.

She said: “The Royal Wedding gave a welcome boost to this quarter’s beer sales, but beer tax rises are now hitting our brewers hard and undermining recovery.

“We warned the Chancellor that further beer tax rises would hinder job growth in our sector. Duty increases are fuelling inflation and stifling investment.”

However, Paul Mellor, chair of the Poulton Licensing Association, believes cheap supermarket prices plays a huge factor in pub sales.

He said: “Nationally there are 30 pubs closing every week because supermarkets are selling cheap booze.

“They sell alcohol at a loss, especially around the barbecue season and the pubs can’t compete.

“If we want to see an improvement, the Government will have to clamp down.”

The quarterly Beer Barometer survey also showed a 15 per cent drop in supermarket and shop sales of beer in the second quarter of the year, versus the same period in 2010.