Personal Finance

Tees Valley Posts Best Bar and Pub Growth in the UK

Pubs and bars provide a place for social interaction and networking, and further benefit a community by offering employment to locals. Unfortunately, the number of bars and public houses has steadily declined in the UK since 2007. We analysed the most recent data from the Office of National Statistics on bar and public houses to see how trends are changing by major city region in the UK.

Number of Bars and Public Houses in the UK

Over the past decade the number of bars and pubs in the UK has dropped—from 51,120 in 2007 to 38,815 in 2018. While the biggest decline was experienced between 2008 and 2011, we've continued to lose more pubs each and every year since. In addition to communities losing venues for social interaction, local areas may have experienced job losses as well.

Chart showing the growth in bars and public houses in the UK
Number of Pubs and Bars in the UK

Recent Growth by City Region

Breaking out the data by major city region, it appears that one area has bucked the trend and has actually seen an increase in bars and pubs in recent years. Tees Valley posted significant 10.1% growth in the number bars and public houses between 2016 and 2018—the only major city region to post positive growth in the past two years. In fact, the UK as a whole lost 1.9% of these social eating and drinking establishments over the same time period.

Chart showing the growth in bars and public houses in the UK
Number of Bars & Pubs by City Region20162018Percentage Change
Tees Valley Combined Authority34538010.1%
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority4804800.0%
Greater Manchester Combined Authority1,5551,545-0.6%
West of England Combined Authority595590-0.8%
Greater London3,6153,540-2.1%
West Midlands Combined Authority1,1251,095-2.7%
Liverpool City Region830800-3.6%
Sheffield City Region800765-4.4%
United Kingdom39,58038,815-1.9%

Tees Valley Pub and Bar Growth

The growth in Tees Valley has largely been driven by smaller establishments with fewer than 10 employees, with twenty new small businesses opening their doors in Tees Valley between 2016 and 2018, an increase of 10.8%. Over the same time period, 5 new large establishments (with 25 or more employees) and 10 new medium-sized establishments (with 10 to 24 employees) began operating as well.

Chart showing the growth in bars and public houses in Tees Valley
Number of Public House and Bars in Tees Valley, by Size201620172018Percentage Increase, 2016 - 2018
25 or More Employees40454512.5%
10 to 24 Employees1151151258.7%
Less than 10 Employees18520020510.8%

Pubs and bars are part of the fabric of society, with the average UK household spending £416 per year on alcohol consumed out of the house. In fact, there are three areas of the UK in which people spend more on alcohol out of the house than they spend on alcohol for consumption at home: London, Yorkshire and The Humber and the North East (home to Tees Valley).

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


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