The number of pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants surrendering their premises licence increased by 13% over the past year, writes Graham Ridout. The research from legal information provider Sweet & Maxwell also highlights the fact that the number of licences surrendered has more than doubled over the past three years. Sweet & Maxwell, part of the Thomson Reuters group, said 5,742 alcohol licences were surrendered over the past 12 months, up from a figure of 5,102 licenses for the previous year. In 2007, just 2,830 licenses were given up. Separate research by accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy found that more than one bar or pub went bust each day in 2010. The research was based on statistics from the Insolvency Service, which include compulsory liquidations, creditors’ voluntary liquidations, receiverships, administrations and company voluntary arrangements. “These numbers show the extent to which the industry is struggling,” said Anthony Cork, restructuring and recovery director at Wilkins Kennedy. “Bars and restaurants are being squeezed from several directions and a growing number are being forced to close. “Bars, pubs and nightclubs are being undercut by supermarket alcohol deals, which encourage people to drink at home rather than go out. Supermarkets have also been heavily promoting dine at home meal deals, which has hit the restaurant trade. “This comes on top of competition from large pub chains that are able to sell beer cheaper than smaller establishments can buy it from the breweries. “Smaller, local pubs are losing their most price-sensitive customers like pensioners and students, which is impacting their daytime trade.” Cork added: “To some extent, middle-class professionals have also had to cut down on entertainment as pay increases have lagged behind inflation, hitting their disposable income. "With fewer people eating and drinking out, restaurants and pubs that were able to weather the smoking ban on the strength of their income from food are continuing to suffer.”