Importance of our local pub industry is no small beer

08:45 03 March 2014

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The importance of pubs and breweries to Uttlesford has been revealed as new figures showed the industry pumps more than £22million into the local economy.

More than 1,100 people are also employed, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the trade in the area, according to the report, commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The figures have been released following a challenging period which has seen two pubs in Saffron Walden, The Crocus and The Old Sun Inn, being converted into a supermarket and housing ­respectively, over the past three years.

Campaigners have said the data shows how vital the industry is.

Liz Cobbold, head of marketing at Adnams, which has a cellar in Saffron Walden, said the pub trade was important, not just to owners, but to those in the supply chain as well, including farmers.

She added: “Lots of people gave up alcohol in January but pubs are not just about drinking, they are about bringing communities together.

“It is more than just a place to drink, because you can do that at home. We are really trying to build community pubs and pubs that know their local area.”

The study has been put together by Oxford Economics and the results separated into the impact the trade has on parliamentary constituencies and local authority areas.

The report has relied mainly on data in the Annual Business Survey published by the Office for National Statistics.

In north Essex, £130m is generated from pubs and breweries, an industry which employs more than 6,800 people.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said the figures show how important the industry is across the country, but a freeze in beer duty would boost growth and jobs across the region even further.

She added: “East Anglia is a British brewing heartland, with local brewers like Adnams having a big economic impact on the region.”

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