PUBS across the board will continue struggle to survive unless business rates and other taxes aren't slashed, warns a local publican in Swindon.

Jonathan Crisp, the landlord of the Glue Pot on Emlyn Square, said that small and major pubs were struggling and called for lower taxes.

He told the Adver: "We really need the duty rates cut, at the moment around one in three of people's pints are going to the taxman.

"There is only so much longer that we can survive," he said.

"We are very much a destination pub for ale drinkers. That makes us attract the locals from a further distance than just the local area.

"Unless they have got something like that, pubs are going to struggle. But it is hard work. Even the major chain pubs are finding it hard.

"I went into the town centre on the bank holiday and even with the football on it really wasn't that busy."

A quarter of Swindon’s pubs and bars have shut since 2010, official figures from the Office for National statistic show.

There were 105 pubs and bars in Swindon in 2017, down from 140 in 2010.

Although, according to the data company the Altus Group, the picture for the rest of the UK is improving.

Its annual review found 914 pubs disappeared across the UK in 2018, a decrease in the decline compared to 2017 when 1,292 went under.

Alex Probyn, president of expert services at Altus Group, said changes in the rates bill was already helping to slow the decline.

He said: "The increase in the thresholds at which businesses, such as pubs, pay business rates coupled with the pubs discount during the last two financial years has helped ease the decline.

"The new retail discount, which slashed rates bills by a third for high street firms with a rateable value less than £51,000 from April 1, will help independent licensees in small premises and hopefully will stem the decline even further."

The Campaign for Real Ale warns that business rates are continuing to force publicans to lay off staff, increase prices and hold off investment.

A survey of 650 pubs last month by CAMRA found that three out of four said the system was unfair.