Landlady's fears for pub industry

A PUB landlady has today warned she could go out of business within three months and fears the industry is in crisis.

A PUB landlady has today warned she could go out of business within three months and fears the industry is in crisis.

Val Bint, licensee of the Steamboat Tavern, in Ipswich said rising beer prices and rental costs left traditional pubs facing financial ruin.

Her fears come after an Evening Star campaign was launched yesterday to get drinkers to support their boozer.

More than 100 pubs have closed within the last generation and now bars are being affected by the current economic downturn.

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Mrs Bint said her New Cut West pub still saw large numbers of punters visiting throughout the week, however she was struggling to break even because she needed to charge £3 for a bottle of Becks. Supermarkets can sell 20 bottles of the same beer for just £10.

She said: “Doing the trade and bringing people in isn't enough.

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“Because beer prices are so high and rent is so high so the government and breweries are making all the money and we're not making any money at all.

“I doubt that I will be here in three months' time, even though I'm busy and full.

“Having people through the door actually isn't good enough when all the costs are so high, and for the last six months we have been running at a loss.”

Mrs Bint said she thought more and more pubs would close their doors in coming months, leaving Ipswich bereft of a variety of music venues.

She added: “Generally the industry is in a crisis.

“The way that we are going will mean there are no traditional pubs and we'll end up with lots of chains.

“I don't know what will happen to the music scene in the next year in the town, but I fear for it.

“It is actually soul-destroying. We only get traditional pubs in England and they are the ones that are going to go.”

n. In yesterday's Evening Star we said that the Horse and Groom pub in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich had closed. We are happy to confirm the pub has now re-opened.

Are you worried about pubs closing in Ipswich? What can be done to help them survive? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

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