THE New Forest and Christchurch have seen about 30 pubs shut their doors since 2001, according to official figures.
In the New Forest, the number of pubs shrank from 140 to 120 (14%) between 2001 and 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It marks a slight recovery from 2017 when there were 115 open.
The figures revealed a change in inns’ character too, with pubs that employ 10 or more people increasing over the same period from 60 to 75. Pubs with smaller workforces fell dramatically from 85 to 45 – a decline of 47%.
— ONS (@ONS) November 26, 2018
However, with 6.6 pubs per 10,000 people, the New Forest still has an above-average ratio compared to the national rate of 5.8.
In Christchurch, the number of pubs fell from 35 to 25. Bigger employers stayed the same while smaller ones reduced from 15 to 10.
The ratio of pubs to people was lower than the national average, with around five per 10,000 residents.
The UK area that saw the biggest rise in the number of pubs was Hackney in London, with an extra 30. The biggest fall was 220 in Birmingham.
Nationally, pubs have fallen by more than a quarter – from around 52,500 in 2001 to 38,815 in 2018, said the ONS.
However, overall turnover has largely held up, falling by 8%, taking account of inflation. Numbers employed have increased 6%.