Swindon saw no growth in its pub trade last year despite the number of locals across the UK rising for the first time in over a decade.

The pumps were pouring around 100 public houses in Swindon in 2019 – the same number as in the previous year, according to new Office for National Statistics data.

But despite business holding steady, it still represents a drop from the 150 boozers open in 2007.

The introduction of the smoking ban in the same year, the impact of the great recession and a rise in alcohol duty in 2008 have all been blamed for landlords calling last orders since then.

Swindon and Wiltshire CAMRA member John Stooke suggested that small micro-breweries and food pubs were managing to flourish in the town.

He said: “There have been a few new pubs offering specialist drinks popping up on Devizes Road, like The Little Hop and The Eternal Optimist, and food pubs are doing well.

"We've seen a slight increase in new pubs, but not as much as we should considering the size of Swindon and how much it's expanding.

"Arkell's are doing a great job with their pubs. Other corporations need to learn that increasing the rents when their landlords do well is not conducive to long-term management. Someone working round-the-clock should be allowed to make a bit of money rather than passing on the profits to their bosses."

Across the UK, a one per cent rise in the numbers of establishments last year to just over 39,000 was the first increase since 2007, when the figure stood at 51,000.

The number of small pubs – those with fewer than 10 employees – also rose for the first time since 2002.

More employees are working in pubs on average than a decade ago. In Swindon, the average pub employed 11 staff in 2019, up from five in 2007.

A Treasury spokesman said: “Small pubs and bars are part of the heart and soul of our communities – so it’s great news they are on the rise. We’re committed to giving them support, which is why we will be cutting their bills in half through the business rates retail discount plus further support with new pubs relief.”