the number of pub companies collapsing into insolvency fell by a third in the second quarter of this year from their 2009 peak. But industry experts fear that if planned Government cuts lead to falls in consumer spending, the sector will see more failures.

Sixty pub operators filed for insolvency in the three months to 30 June, compared with 88 in the final quarter of last year, said PricewaterhouseCoopers.

But, this year's figure is still comparatively high and is up nearly 10 per cent on the 55 that collapsed in the second quarter of 2008. David Chubb, of PwC, said: "Pub company insolvency rates have fallen from where we were a year ago but trading remains difficult and further failures are expected as lenders consolidate their positions.

"The statistics do not fully illustrate the extent of the problems in the sector. Some groups are being restructured without entering into insolvency."

This year, companies including Capital City Brewing and London Town went insolvent, as did nightclubs such as London's Fabric and Buddha Bar, pictured.

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