Trading at Scotland’s rural pubs was hit badly over the festive period, with more than 40 per cent seeing a decline in business, a new survey has revealed.
Remote and countryside pubs have blamed tougher drink-driving laws and the new living wage, while only 16 per cent of them expect any growth this year, according to the report by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).
In December 2014, the Scottish Government introduced far more rigorous drink-drive limits than those that apply in the rest of the UK.
Paul Waterson, the SLTA’s chief executive, whose group’s survey covered 600 Scottish on-trade outlets from single outlets to gastro pub chains, said the rising challenges at rural pubs had become the trade association’s “big concern”.
“The declines shown in our survey will inevitably lead to further closures and a negative impact on jobs and amenities in rural areas,” he said.