Pubs are bouncing back across Bournemouth with the number increasing, but the picture’s not so rosy across the rest of Dorset.
The number of small pubs and bars increased by 85 in 2019 following more than 15 years of closures cross the country.
The number of pubs and bars in the UK increased by 315 between 2018-2019, the first increase for a decade, latest figures for the Office for National Statistics reveal.
But it’s a mixed picture across Dorset. In Bournemouth the number of micro-pubs and small bars has increased, with 10 opening their doors since 2010.
The news that pubs are increasing after years of closures comes as welcome news to Bournemouth-based micro-pubs.
The Firkin Shed, on Holdenhurst Road, was named as one of the best pubs in the country by Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2020.
Lisa Gray runs the Firkin Shed with her partner Paul. She believes the increase in micro-pubs is attributed to “tax breaks for small breweries meaning micro-breweries have been popping up across Bournemouth and Winton”.
She added: “The public house was the landlord brewing beer in his living room and serving it to the public.
“It’s going back to that, the small area where people can go and socialise.
“Whereas the large brew-co pubs have to rely on food to cover their overheads and you lose that public house feel.”
However elsewhere in Dorset the figures aren’t quite as promising with over 15 pubs closing across the county in the last decade.
Pubs in Christchurch have decreased by 29% with five closing their doors since 2010. Poole has seen a 21% decline with 10 pubs and bars closing since 2010.
It is believed that the rising cost of a pint and a change in drinking habits has contributed to the previous fall in pubs.