Call for one drink a week to support local pubs
IF everyone who enjoys a beer stopped into their local pub once a week, it would give Cheltenham hostelries a huge shot in the arm.
That's the view of Fiery Angel landlord Jo Dimond-Brown, who has urged people to step forward and support the town's drinking houses – one pint at a time.
With Cheltenham's population estimated at around 115,300, assuming half that number enjoy a drink but don't frequent pubs, it would mean an extra 57,650 drinks being bought in the town each week.
And, at, an average pint of beer costs £3, it could mean a boost to the pub economy of around £172,950 per week – which equates to nearly £9 million a year before tax, or just over £7 million after beer duty.
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Divide that equally between Cheltenham's 90-odd pubs and profits could soar by nearly £80,000 at each venue.
Mr Dimond-Brown said although the figures might seem fanciful, everyone could do their bit.
He said: "It might not sound like much, but if everyone who likes a beer went into their local pub just once a week and ordered one pint – it would make such a difference.
"Times are tough in the trade and no one wants to see the town lose any more pubs. A lot of people enjoy a drink, but many are choosing to do it at home. That is what we are dealing with.
"If we could get people to come into their favourite local pub and enjoy one beer a week, it would go a long way to solving our problem."
He added that there would be other benefits too, saying: "By coming to the pub, people can drink in a more sociable atmosphere and catch up with people they might not otherwise see.
"It's just one drink – we're not asking people to empty their wallets. But it would really help to keep our community pubs alive."
The Echo launched the Save Our Pubs campaign earlier this year.
It is aimed at encouraging people to support their local drinking houses and build pressure on the Government to relax the pub tie – the arrangement through which large pub companies can dictate the price of beer sold at a venue.
Andrew Frape, chairman of the Gloucestershire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said: "It's a particularly difficult time for pubs and the message we are trying to get across is 'you've got to use them or lose them'."