25/01/2012 10:40 GMT | Updated 25/01/2012 10:41 GMT

30 Pictures Which Will Make Drinkers Cry Into Their Pints (PICTURES)

If you like a pint in your local boozer, then look away now - this might hurt.

Pubs the length of Britain are closing down as competition from supermarkets crushes the cornerstone of social culture.

A leading think-tank has now said pubs which improve community life should be given tax breaks to help them survive.

With 16 pubs currently believed to be closing each week, the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) recommends a 50% business rate relief for those that can prove they act as community hubs.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) this week reported 140 million fewer pints of beer were sold in pubs last year, as they struggle to cope with competition from supermarkets, increases in tax on beer and changes in consumers' tastes.

According to the researchers' calculations, pubs that serve as community hubs can generate between £20,000 and £120,000 of "social value" each year.

Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which carried out the research revealing that 16 pubs are closing every week, found that those in suburban areas are the worst affected.

The consumer group said that in two years 1,078 pubs have gone under in Britain's suburbs, with eight closing every week, compared to six in rural areas and two in town high streets.