Pubs increase in West London

Recent figures show the number of pubs in West London boroughs have increased and applications for licensed premises are on the rise.

The growth in pub numbers contrasts the reported national decline and the trend for an increase in licensed premises is likely to continue.

Rising numbers
Brent and Harrow saw a rise each adding five new premises and the number in Ealing remained at a promising 95. The figures from the Mayor of London’s office, City Hall, found that 74 per cent of people value pubs as an important part of an area’s cultural heritage.

Almost 70 percent or people visit a pub to socialise with friends and 27 per cent to enjoy the food. It is reported that 45 per cent of people visit a pub at least once a month. The numbers show a positive shift following the decline in pubs for decades. Incidentally, the number of small pubs reduced by more than half between 2001 and 2018 nationally. Overall pub numbers have been steadily decreasing from 60,000 in the UK during the early 2000 to 46,000.

Further research from advisory firm BDO has found that there has been a surge in licensed premises, predicting that the trend is likely to continue.  Alongside this, the firm has found a move towards mergers and acquisitions of pubs. The BDO cites key trends including local efforts to create pubs that suit the community and consumer choice has become increasingly common. Independent pubs are preferred by consumers along with the offer of different types of experiences, increase in craft beers, ales and local brewery offers.

New developments  
Pubs, restaurants and bars continue to be popular across the West London boroughs that have seen an increase in wet-license applications. As new development schemes focus on the provision of well-thought out community focused builds there is a consolidated effort to start discussion with providers early on in the planning stages. As such, Ealing’s regeneration programme has seen new developments like Dickens Yard that is home to Charlotte’s W5, Riding Wines, Balans and 17 Dickens Yard (pictured) which are all styled pubs, bars or restaurants that are tailored for the local market.

The research from City Hall, the London Mayor’s office, noted that there was a reduction of pubs in Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) and Barnet. However, H&F has seen an increase in license applications as the borough’s thriving night-time economy continues to grow thanks to the council’s Industrial Strategy. A number of existing pubs have undergone major refurbishment work and others converted into craft beer and draft houses, while newer developments include Bradmore Square that has seen a boost to the local night-time economy. Other new watering holes in H&F include The Prince, the award-winning The Courtyard, Little Blue Door, Aragon House, Fuel at art space Elephant West, Kindred and Soho House in White City.

Despite Barnet experiencing a decline in pub numbers in the City Hall’s statistics, the borough fared well in the UK Housing Index scoring an ‘A’ in local amenities which includes schools and retailers, pubs and restaurants.

With a progressive regeneration programme across the Capital West London region there are a range of development projects taking place or are in the pipeline. Cllr Julian Bell, Ealing Councillor and Chair of the West London Economic Prosperity Board, has welcomed the news saying the region is open for discussions with wider stakeholders and amenities providers.

Cllr Bell who will be a keynote speaker at the Capital West London Growth Summit 2019 discussing the vision for West London, said: “It is very good news that pub numbers in Ealing are remaining stable, when they are closing so rapidly in other areas. With major developments and regeneration under way or planned in Ealing, we want to ensure these become real communities, and new pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants so that people can socialise where they live, are a vital part of that.

“As a thriving centre for growth and regeneration, we are keen to discuss opportunities across the sub region with brands and businesses that want to be part of building real communities.”

Capital West London Growth Summit 2019
Join Cllr Bell and leaders of the West London boroughs at the Capital West London Growth Summit 2019 on October 29 at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.
Take advantage of the networking opportunities and speak to planners, developers and stakeholders from West London. Book your tickets here.

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