London's Pubs

As part of the Cultural Infrastructure Plan, each year we will do an annual audit to track the number of pubs and help reduce closures. In this year’s audit we have learnt that:

  • London lost 60 pubs in 2015-16 (1.6 per cent fall) and 85 pubs in 2016-17 (2.4 per cent fall), more than one a week.  
  • During 2016-17, seven boroughs saw a net increase in pubs: Hackney, the City of London, Camden, Bexley, Greenwich, Hounslow and Lewisham.
  • Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) data shows that conversion is a significant threat to pubs. This includes conversions to restaurants, cafes and shops as well as conversion or demolition for residential use. Further research is required about the impact that the government’s permitted development rights has had on conversions before their removal in May 2017.
  • Small pubs are the most vulnerable. The number of small pubs in London has fallen by half (50 per cent) since 2001, a decrease of 1,710 from 3,390. By comparison, the number of large pubs has increased by 28 per cent over this period (an increase of 405 from 1,445).
  • Whilst pubs are closing, the net people employed remains steady. The number of people employed in London pubs in 2017 was 46,400 – broadly unchanged compared to 2016, when there were 46,300 employed.

Number of pubs lost and gained since 2001

Using the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) data, this map shows the net loss of public houses per London borough.

View this map full screen

Pubs in London Data Report

Read our report which looks into what has been happening to the number of pubs, and employment therein, in London.