Britain’s most southerly pub to shut doors

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Saying goodbye: Cornish pub announces closure with a "heavy heart" (Getty/ Rogan Macdonald)
Saying goodbye: Cornish pub announces closure with a "heavy heart" (Getty/ Rogan Macdonald)

Related tags Finance Cornwall Property

The most southern pub in Britain has been forced to close its doors after factors impacting the sector made it “impossible” to maintain the establishment.

The Witchball, on the Lizard peninsula, Cornwall, announced it would shut to the public at 11pm this Sunday (19 February) after 17 years.

This comes after new research​ from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) revealed some 21 pubs closed or lost their licenses per week, between July and December last year.

In a Facebook post, a spokesperson announced the closure with a “heavy heart”. They said: “Sadly, many factors have impacted this industry making it impossible to maintain and staff our establishment.”

They said over the years, the pub had enjoyed working with wonderful staff, community members, local customers, various visitors and holidaymakers that had visited the site, as well as its beer festivals which raised more than £20,000 for local charities.

“We will miss everyone in the community that visited for a day, a week, or for years,” they added.

The spokesperson apologised for the short notice but said they would have to use the limited time left to close up.

All stock must go

The pub had also reduced its prices as “all stock must go”. All draft beers and ciders were now £3, with a pint and half a pint priced at £1.50.

Spirits, wines and soft drinks are also discounted subject to stock availability.

The Witchball had decided to go out with a bang. It will host one final pub quiz this Friday (17 February), followed by tunes from DJ Matthew Pascoe on the decks.

The pub was met with an outpour of support on social media. “Very sad to hear this news,” said one user, with others expressing how much fun they’d had at events and how sorry they were to hear of the closure.

CAMRA’s pub closure statistics showed 554 pubs became classed as ‘long term closures’ during the last six months of 2022, meaning the sites had gone out of business or were standing empty without new tenants.

Disappearing pubs

The British Beer & Pub Association warned without a plan for sustainable growth the Government would risk losing the country’s pubs​ and breweries forever.

Commenting on the influx of closures, CAMRA chairman Nik Antona said: “With the cost of doing business rocketing, energy costs sky-high and customers tightening their belts it is little wonder that hundreds of pubs across the country are closing for business or are standing empty.

“We know the licensed trade can thrive and drive growth in the economy, but only if the Government acts quickly.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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