North East Pubs Back Minimum Price On Booze

23 November 2012, 12:26 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

North East pub owners are calling on the Government to support a minimum price of 50p per unit on alcohol to tackle cheap supermarket deals.

16 British pubs a week are closing and now half of the region's landlords say their profits have fallen over the previous 12 months, while a third expect this decline to continue over the year ahead.

Research published today (Friday, November 23rd) by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office shows the sale of cheap supermarket alcohol is a key reason for declining trade.

Eight in ten landlords say they simply can't compete supermarket price promotions and they've damaged business over the last five years.

As a result, seven in ten north east publicans support the introduction of a minimum unit price, which would increase the price of cheap, strong alcohol while having no impact on pub prices.

Tony Brookes is Managing Director of the Head of Steam Ltd which owns premises in Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham, Liverpool and Huddersfield.

He's told Capital's reporter Anna Harding why he feels strongly about this campaign:

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance also shared his reasons for backing the campaign:

The Stats

More than 200 of the region's landlords were surveyed by Balance.

They found:

· 49% of those surveyed experienced a fall in profits over the last year.

· 33% predict that this decline will continue over the next 12 months.

· 82% of those surveyed say supermarket price promotions have affected trade in the last five years. Of these:

· 73% say supermarket price promotions encourage customers to come out later.

· 46% say they lead to customers arriving drunk.

· 43% say they have stopped people coming out.

· 45% say they've resorted to offering drinks promotions to counteract supermarket promotions.

· 70% of publicans surveyed support a minimum unit price. Of these:

· 71% think it will be good for business turnover and profit

· 63% think it will have a positive impact on crime and disorder

· 80% of publicans think that the minimum 50p per unit proposed for Scotland is either just right, or too low.