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25th April 2023

Pubs prepare for coronation celebrations as 4 in 5 Brits say the local is the bedrock of UK communities


·       New research from Greene King shows pubs are still the economic and social bedrock of UK communities, with four in five (82%) Brits saying pubs are important for local communities 

·       One third (34%) have worked in a pub at some point in their lives, while 64% believe pubs support their local economy 

·       A quarter of 18-34 year olds (27%) plan to visit a pub over the Coronation Weekend, continuing the great tradition of celebrating national events in the pub 

New research from leading pub company and brewer Greene King, commissioned ahead of the King’s Coronation, has found that pubs are still seen as the economic and social bedrock of local communities, even as society has changed since the last coronation.  

With many pubs now acting as far more than simply places to drink a pint or grab a bite to eat, Greene King’s research finds that four in five (82%) Brits recognise pubs as important for local communities. Pubs up and down the UK act as centres for local initiatives, fundraising efforts and the home for all manner of teams and groups. While pubs may have evolved since 1953, it is clear that their role at the centre of communities hasn’t changed. And with 58% living less than a mile from the pub, these community hubs remain in reach for a huge proportion of Brits.  

Pubs are not only social hubs. 64% of Brits believe pubs support the local economy, while one third (34%) of Brits have worked in a pub at some point in their lives. With over half of those working in the sector under the age of 25, pubs are an invaluable employer of young people offering different career and training opportunities.1 With 61% of those who have worked in a pub having done so in their local area, it is clear that the sector has a pivotal role in providing good jobs in local communities.  

With pubs playing such an important role in UK society, Greene King is calling for more to be done to protect pubs so they can continue to serve local communities for generations to come. This comes as Greene King publishes a new report, Serving King and Country: The Great British Pub at the heart of communities, to mark the King’s Coronation on 6 May. The report looks at the role pubs play in local communities, their social and economic impact, and how they have evolved with society since the last Coronation in 1953.  

Greene King is expecting to pull around 1.8 million pints across its managed estate of c.1,600 pubs over the Coronation Weekend, as many people look forward to meeting friends at the pub. Indeed, a quarter (27%) of 18-34 year olds plan to visit a pub during the bank holiday weekend. The UK has a great tradition of coming together for national moments in pubs, from jubilees to sporting victories, with a third (35%) of Brits having witnessed or celebrated a national moment in a pub. And pubs also continue to play a central role in our day to day lives with 43% of over 18s going to the pub at least once a month. 

Punters celebrating in some of Greene King’s pubs will be able to sample a pint of its new Coronation Ale, specially brewed for the occasion. The company has a long tradition of brewing special beers for coronations and jubilees.  

Amidst the celebrations, Greene King is urging the Government to look at the future of the British local and how to create a regulatory environment which encourages investment and ensures pubs can continue to serve communities until the next coronation and beyond.  

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Our pubs have witnessed over 200 years of British history and evolved alongside British society over this time. The pub experience in 1953 will be unrecognisable to many of today’s customers and we pride ourselves on creating warm, welcoming spaces for millions of people of all backgrounds. We are now looking forward to welcoming customers through our doors as we come together to celebrate the King’s Coronation.  

“The social and economic impact of pubs is undeniable. Alongside the great career and training opportunities available in communities up and down the country, many pubs also provide vital services and act as hubs which support people in their local areas. The range of services, fundraising events and other community programmes organised by our general managers and tenants never ceases to amaze me and I am delighted to be able to showcase a handful of our fantastic pubs and the teams behind them in our new report. 

“However, we must not forget that the future of the Great British Pub is far from certain. We have been through some challenging times over the past few years and we cannot afford to take pubs for granted. We need the Government to create a regulatory environment which encourages investment – particularly through fundamental reform of business rates, which represent the highest regulatory cost burden for pubs – to enable us to continue to serve our communities, create jobs and contribute to the country’s economic growth.” 


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Survey data taken from a survey of 2,000 UK adults via Opinium in March 2023.  

Case studies  

Case studies of Greene King tenants and General Managers talking about the role of their pub in the local community and their plans for the Coronation Weekend 

Steve and Maria Harris, licensees for The Stag, Lyndhurst 

Coronation celebrations will be in full swing in the heart of the New Forest at The Stag in Lyndhurst, the winners of the 2023 Greene King Pub Partners Pub of the Year. 

The bustling country pub and hotel will be pulling out all the stops to make the Coronation Weekend a truly memorable one. There will be large images of King Charles III all around the building to mark the long weekend with a host of royal themed events. These include a visit to the village from the King himself (aka an Elvis impersonator!) on the Saturday, a Right Royal Roast on the Sunday, with live music throughout the Bank Holiday and a bouncy castle for the youngsters. 

Maria said: “We will be showing the Coronation in the pub and out in the garden. The Stag will be the place where everyone can come and celebrate this occasion together. This is great for people who would otherwise be on their own – this is a national event and a time to be with others. The area is popular with tourists too with campsites nearby so we can offer them a wonderful setting to watch the ceremony and join in the celebrations.” 

She added “When we took on The Stag in 2021, it was our first pub. We had a lot to learn, but we knew we wanted to create a brilliant pub at the heart of the community. Thanks to our partnership with Greene King and their full support, we have achieved just that. It’s great to see everyone come together and celebrate.” 

Mark Gordon, General Manager of The Kings Arms, Bagshot 

Celebration and community spirit are at the very heart of The Kings Arms in Bagshot, which will be honouring the King’s Coronation in right royal style. 

Managers Mark and Sarah Gordon have been serving the town for 13 years and it’s very much a family business with the couple’s children now working at the High Street pub too. Its long-standing popularity and success mean it’s a winner with the locals and has been recognised for its outstanding community work. In 2022, the pub picked up awards for diversity and inclusion as well as winning the We Care title at the Pride of Greene King Awards 2020. 

Mark, who is also a local councillor, believes being at the heart of village life is vital and the pub goes over and above when it comes to caring for its regulars and neighbours. He says: “The thing that’s special about a pub environment is it’s where people talk, where they meet up and socialise.  

“Yes, we serve food and drinks, but there is so much more. We hold lots of celebrations and events throughout the year which bring the community together. We are a home for a host of clubs and social groups. We are here for the good times, celebrating local and national events, and here the difficult and sad times. Covid was hard but while the pub doors were closed, the team and I were here for our community.” 

During lockdowns Mark says they kept busy delivering shopping and medicines, and checking in on locals, especially those living alone. The weekly Pub Quiz moved online with 300-400 people joining in. Over Christmas, Santa (aka Mark) made 120 Facetime calls to children unable to meet Mr Claus in person and the pub delivered 186 Christmas dinners. The Kings Arms team provided invaluable support throughout the pandemic. 

The team looks forward to happier times in 2023 when the High Street will be closed off for the King’s Coronation. Mark says: “We are really going to town with a grand carnival spirit and the pub is at the heart of it all as the whole community comes together to celebrate.” 

Diane Guest, General Manager of the Broadwater, Worthing 

Great British pubs are the beating heart of their communities here for the every day, the high days and the holidays, according to Diane Guest, general manager of the Broadwater in Worthing, West Sussex. 

Diane says: “Nothing beats a great community pub, it’s about caring, it’s about giving and it is open for everyone. All ages enjoy themselves here and people around here know we care and that’s what’s important. Go back through time and pubs have been at the heart of their community, we may have lost that a bit at the turn of the century but Covid really showed everyone the real importance of a local. We are pivotal to what goes on.” 

The role of the pub is so varied – it’s for people to socialise and have fun, raise money for charity and watch sport, a place for clubs and groups to meet but also for people to discuss a wide range of things. Recently, community nurses have been at the Broadwater offering medical advice to residents who may not want to take a trip to the doctor.  

As they have done for other national and local celebrations, Worthing will come together for the King’s Coronation. The pub overlooks the Village Green where there will be stalls, a beer tent (courtesy of the Broadwater), dance displays, old fashioned organ, samba drums, and bouncy castle – truly something for everyone. 

About Greene King 

Greene King is the country’s leading pub company and brewer with c.2,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland. 

At Greene King we are passionate about delivering our purpose to ‘pour happiness into lives’. That’s for our customers, our team, our pub partners, our suppliers and the communities in which we live, operate and serve. Founded in 1799 with offices in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk and Burton on Trent in Staffordshire we employ around 39,000 people across the group with four divisions: Greene King pubs, Destination Brands, Partnership and Ventures, and Brewing & Brands. 

·       Greene King pubsare located where people and communities come together; pubs enjoyed in cities, towns and villages throughout the country 

·       Destination Brands is a mixture of food and drink-led brands including Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer, Wacky Warehouse, and Pub & Carvery, Pub & Dining and Pub & Grill  

·       Partnerships & Ventures includes Pub Partners, which runs our tenanted and leased pubs business and Hive Franchise pubs, and our Ventures Brands which is made up of Metropolitan Pub Company, Hickory’s, Hotels Group and Crafted Pubs 

·       Brewing & Brands covers the brewing sides of the business. Quality ales are brewed at the Westgate brewery in Bury St Edmunds and the Belhaven Brewery in Dunbar. Our industry-leading portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Ice Breaker and Belhaven Best and our premium beers, Level Head and Flint Eye, brewed for the modern-day drinker 

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