Pubs are key in tackling loneliness and provide a social value far beyond their economic contributions to society, according to research conducted by Loughborough University.
The Open Arms report, which was conducted in tandem with Heineken UK and the Campaign to End Loneliness, found that institutions such as pubs are crucial for people of all backgrounds and ages.
The research levelled pubs alongside other community assets such as libraries, cafes, and community centres.
As a result of the publication, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on governments across the UK to recognise “just how much pubs matter to individuals and communities”.
Nik Antona, chairman of the industry body, said: “Our pubs provide a safe, regulated environment in which to relax with a drink and mix with people of other age groups and backgrounds – and are often the only place left for people in many communities to meet.
“Yet too many had already closed even before Covid, with the coronavirus crisis put tens of thousands more at risk of permanent closure.”
He added that the upcoming chancellor’s budget is the “perfect opportunity to commit to a long-term support package” that helps get pubs “back on their feet again”.