By Daniel Hunter

Beer sales in the UK are improving after 10 years of decline, but they remain "fragile" according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

It said beer sales were up 1.5% last year, but fell 0.8% in first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year.

The BBPA blamed "huge tax rises" for a 24% fall in beer sales in the UK over the past nine years. But a 1p cut in beer duty for a third year running, announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget statement, has "helped to stabilise the sector" by securing 16,000 jobs, the BBPA said.

Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "We need the right tax policies so we can continue to boost jobs and create investment in an industry that employs 900,000 people and is worth £22bn to our economy."