| 16°C Belfast

Can women save the pub trade?

Women could be the unlikely saviours of pubs as new research showed a growing number were visiting their local, according to a new report today.

A study of 2,000 women showed that a third went to a pub at least once a fortnight, usually to their local rather than an upmarket high street chain.

The BitterSweet Partnership, a business set up to change beer's image, said its study showed more women would go to pubs if they served better quality food, had entertainment and less sport.

One in five women said they drank beer in pubs, marginally more than those opting for spirits.

Kirsty Derry, managing director of the BitterSweet Partnership said: “We know the majority |of women still prefer drinking wine and visiting wine bars, but it's encouraging to see there are an increasing number of women heading down to their local pub to sample the great beer on offer.

“There's still a huge job to do in terms of getting women to view beer as an acceptable drink option, but it's great to see women being offered real choice.” Women |surveyed complained about a |lack of seating in pubs, an unfriendly and unwelcoming environment, poor cleanliness and dodgy music.

Mr Derry added: “We're not asking landlords to paint their pub walls pink or put potpourri on the tables — it's just about creating a more welcoming environment, offering better seating areas, giving a once over with the duster and changing the record, literally — probably from the current 1980s mix tape.”