Scotland smoking ban shows no affect on number of licensed premises

11 July 2007 by
Scotland smoking ban shows no affect on number of licensed premises

Scotland's smoking ban has, so far, failed to dramatically affect the numbers of licensed pubs in the country more than a year after its start date.

Although the total number of licensed premises in Scotland fell last year, a decline in off-trade licences was cancelled out by a slight rise in on-trade registrations.

Overall, the number of commercially licensed premises in Scotland fell by 90 in 2006 to 17,097, according to the research complied by the Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) via Freedom of Information requests to Scotland's 32 councils.

It means that within the on-trade there are now 5,151 liquor licences in force in Scottish pubs, which is one higher than the Scottish Executive's figures published in 2005.

Liquor licenses are also held by 2,260 hotels (2,261 last year), 1,532 restaurants (1,506), 894 nightclubs (866) and 669 cafes (604).

Patrick Browne, SBPA chief executive, said: "We should treat these figures with caution given that it is generally only when a licensed premise comes up to be re-licensed every three years that we find out whether the business is still trading."

"But these figures do not show any apparent impact as regards the total numbers of pubs that are still licensed," Browne said.

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By Christopher Walton

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