Historic inn’s energy bill set to soar by £80k

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Skyrocketing prices: Energy bills at Kendal inn set to soar (Getty/ image source)
Skyrocketing prices: Energy bills at Kendal inn set to soar (Getty/ image source)

Related tags Finance Property

A South Lakeland inn, whose annual energy bill is set to rise by £80,000, is bracing for “long-term problems” at the operator says he will do all he can to protect staff’s jobs.

Ye Olde Fleece Inn at Highgate, Kendal, currently pays £44,000 for its annual electricity bill. However, last week it was quoted a figure of £124,000 for the 12 months from Christmas. 

“I was absolutely horrified,” said Chris Moss, director at Westmorland Hospitality which runs the Fleece. “We had obviously expected the charge to rise but I had to ring the broker and double check the figure I had been given, and the price has probably increased again since then.” 

The company is still waiting to discover what it will have to pay in electricity charges at its other two inns, the Duke of Cumberland and the Gateway Inn, both in Highgate, and what the gas charges will be for all three. 

Stressed-out staff

Moss said staff were “absolutely stressed” about the situation and were worried about their jobs. “But,” he continued, “we appreciate how important our inns are to the community.  

“I want to assure staff and local people that we will do all we can to keep serving the community going forward, no matter what.” 

Facilities at Ye Olde Fleece Inn include a restaurant, gastropub and bar area seating 80 people, as well as a lounge, conference facilities and function room. Several community groups meet at the inn. 

Moss said the pub was looking at how to reduce energy usage. In the kitchen, some intense energy processes, such as using the Salamander, were being stopped. 

What’s more, the team was looking at the energy that goes into cooking every dish, but this was only expected to make a “small difference.  

Also, staff were looking at how to cool beer differently, “but you have to keep beer cool,” said Moss. He continued: “We’ll use our log fires much more, instead of the radiators, and we’ll keep candles burning. 

“People say just close for the winter, but this is a long-term problem.” 

Danger ahead

He warned there was a danger the whole UK hospitality sector could collapse and was fearful of the impact of rising energy prices on all businesses as well as GP surgeries and nursing homes. 

Moss called for Government assistance, which could come in the form of reduced VAT, reduced business rates, a cap on commercial energy or even Government taking matters in-house and providing the energy itself. 

However, he stressed Westmorland Hospitality would work tirelessly to meet the challenges ahead. “The traditional pub is where people used to go to keep warm during the winter,” he said.  

Moss concluded: “We shall do what we can and we are also asking the community for their support to help us to keep our doors open because without our loyal regulars it no longer becomes viable.” 

Related topics News

Related news

Show more