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Quarter of London pubs closed in past 15 years

Staff Writer |
London has lost a quarter of its pubs in the last 15 years, Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

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Khan pledged to make it harder for public houses in the capital to shut, after new figures showed Britain's capital had lost more than 1,200 of its pubs since 2001.

Khan said: "From traditional workingmen's clubs to cutting-edge micro breweries, London's locals are as diverse and eclectic as the people who frequent them."

"I'm shocked at the rate of closure highlighted by these statistics. We will do all we can to protect pubs across London."

The figures show there were 4,835 pubs in London in 2001, but by 2016, this had fallen by 25 percent to 3,615 - an average loss of 81 pubs per year.

Two London boroughs - Barking and Dagenham - have reported a loss of more than half of their pubs. Hackney was the only London borough that reported an increase of three percent since 2001.

A recent survey of international visitors to London revealed that 54 percent visited a pub during their stay in the capital, underlining pubs' great cultural importance to the city and deep connection with English culture, said a spokesman for the mayor's office.

An audit of London's public houses is the first strand of the mayor's cultural infrastructure plan for 2030 to identify what is needed to sustain London's future as a cultural capital.

A report from the mayor's office said: "Although the number of pubs in the capital has dramatically fallen, employment in pubs has grown by 3,700 to reach 46,300 in 2016, an increase of 8.7 percent."

Many of London's surviving old pubs have links with some of the capital's famous characters, including the writer Charles Dickens, the famous highwayman bandit Dick Turpin, and King Charles II, who used to take his mistress Nell Gwynn to the Dove pub in Hammersmith.

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