Prince Charles defends Britain's fast-disappearing country pubs
(dpa) - The heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, has asked the government to help in the fight to save Britain's fast- disappearing country pubs, news reports said Monday.
Charles, 59, is seeking the help of Rural Affairs Minister Hilary Benn to halt the disappearance of Britain's country pubs, which are closing at the rate of 27 per week, The Times reported.
Charles has invited Benn to visit a pub in the northern English county of Cumbria later Monday to see how an ailing business can be turned around.
The Black Swan Hotel in Ravenstonedale was threatened with closure two years ago, but it now has revenues of 600,000 pounds (1.2 million dollars) per year, the newspaper reported.
The prince launched his "Pub is the Hub" campaign to save the country pub six years ago.
The campaign lends money to pub landlords so that they can modernize their businesses and attract more customers.
Some of the changes include making the pub more like a modern coffee shop with wireless internet connection and reading material.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) says there are 57,000 publicans left in Britain. A further 1,000 pubs will close this year, the newspaper quoted the BBPA as saying.