ALMOST 100 pubs and bars have closed their doors across Gwent in less than a decade, statistics have revealed.

There were 450 pubs and bars operating across Gwent in 2010, but this had fallen to 360 in 2017.

The figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and show a fall in the number of pubs and bars in every area of Gwent.

As the Argus reported recently, Newport saw 15 bars and clubs close over the stretch, and Torfaen 20.

Now, new data has shown Caerphilly saw 20 close in the same time, Monmouthshire lost 30, and Blaenau Gwent lost five.

Some pub and bar owners still operating across Gwent said the figures were worrying but added the key was being able to adapt.

Amy McCann, who is the owner of McCann’s Rock ‘n’ Ale Bar in Newport, said: “The figures are really bad. I used to be at The Hornblower but that has gone.

“There are lots of reasons why pubs are facing difficulties, like high business rates and beer duty. 

“But businesses need to adapt, like we have. We have introduced new things to keep people coming and bring in new faces.

“We are not very expensive and not so long ago we brought in a pizzeria. Customers love these sorts of things.”

The manager of Tintern-based The Anchor Inn, Nicola Foreman, also expressed “shock” at the figures.

She said: “It is hard to believe that so many pubs and bars have been lost.

“There are many explanations why some places are struggling.

“One of the things we have done is bring in a loyalty card service - and that has been very popular.”

Angela Wilks used to be the manager of pub in Cwmbran which closed. 

She said: “Pubs and bars are facing loads of problems.

“I used to work at the Moonraker pub so I know what I am talking about.

“Business rates are too high for pubs. They are ridiculous”

The ONS statistics also showed that Gwent is not alone in terms of a decline in the sector.

Across the UK a staggering 5,745 pubs closed between 2010 to 2017.

As a result, Britain’s Beer Alliance, a group of organisations in the pub and brewing sector, has started a campaign called Long Live the Local with a petition and are calling for people to write to their MP to have beer duty reduced.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the association, said: “We are calling on the Government to cut beer duty in the upcoming November budget.

“Seven in ten alcoholic drinks sold in a pub are beer, so cutting beer duty is the most direct way of helping pubs. This is why we are backing the Long Live the Local campaign to cut beer tax.”

A spokesman for CAMRA, the campaign for real ale, added that pubs play a vital role in communities.

He said: “In many areas and villages, they provide the last remaining public meeting space, with meeting halls and post offices already lost. They also create jobs and bring money into local areas”

A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “90 per cent of pubs across the country can benefit from the business rates relief introduced at Budget 2017, which could save them up to £1,000 a year.”

The trend was bucked in just 21 areas of the country.