CEO Statement Castle Street Inns in Administration

02 March 2011

Following the news that West Belfast pub chain Castle Street Inns has gone into administration, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Pubs of Ulster said:

"This is very unfortunate news coming from a pub group that has been an integral part of the local community in Belfast and we hope that they can trade themselves out of this situation. �The increase in the number of pubs going into administration in Northern Ireland in the last year is very troubling but unfortunately such news is representative of what is happening in the industry across Northern Ireland. The past 18 months have been a particularly difficult time for the pub trade. Ongoing pressures such as reduced margins, increased overheads, changes in regulation and the below cost sale of alcohol by supermarkets have made it extremely difficult for pubs to survive. These problems have been compounded by the weather and water shortages over Christmas and New Year which had a severe impact on trading and cash flow, leaving many pubs fighting for survival. �With over 34,000 people employed in the industry, action needs to be taken by the Northern Ireland Assembly. A review of the policies that affect the licensed trade is urgently needed to protect and support the future of pubs and to prevent further closures.�