Britain's Dying Pub Trade

The great British pub is a social and cultural
institution, unrivalled around the world.


But the public house is under threat. Pubs are closing at a rate of up to 28 a week.

'Ripping Out the Bar' follows the story of a group of locals in Hackney, East London, who are determined to save their neighbourhood pub, 'The Chesham Arms', and restore it to its former glory.

The documentary looks at the social and economic forces that are battering the pub industry, and finds out why so many publicans are finding it hard to survive.



"Pubs have been a part of our culture for a thousand years"

There are 52,000 pubs in the UK, but their numbers have dropped sharply in the last 30 years, with the decline accelerating since 2008.

As well as bringing people together, pubs contribute £19bn to the UK economy and employ 500,000 people nationwide.

A smoking ban, introduced in 2007, hit trade in many pubs, while tax on beer in the UK continues to rise. Around one-third of the cost of a pint goes on tax - making it cheaper to buy beer from a store.

Beer consumption in pubs has fallen by nearly half since 2000.

Around 38% of pubs are "tied", which means they have to buy beer from the company that owns their pub. Some tied publicans say their pub company, or "pubco", takes too much out of their profits. 



"We formed this campaign to get our pub back"


The Chesham Arms closed suddenly one day in October 2012.

Its new owner, a property developer, wanted to redevelop it into flats - and the locals didn't have a say.

The Save The Chesham campaign quickly formed to fight for the pub and bring it back from the dead.

Can the battle for the Chesham Arms pave the way for other pub campaigns around the country?