Rising costs force ‘heartbroken’ licensee to close pub

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

'Heartbroken': A pub in Worcestershire announces its closure (Credit: Getty/ Ilbusca)
'Heartbroken': A pub in Worcestershire announces its closure (Credit: Getty/ Ilbusca)

Related tags Finance Worcestershire

A pub in Worcestershire formerly run by the England football team’s chef will shut its doors due to rising costs, its licensee has announced.

The price of utilities, inflation and Covid debt have also made continuing to trade “tragically” impossible at the Bell & Cross in Clent, its owner Joe Tansley said on social media.

The pub, which was once run by Roger Narbett, who was the official chef to the England team​ about 20 years ago, will close immediately.

Tansley thanked his “truly incredible” team members, and added: “I’m absolutely heartbroken things have ended this way. 

“To all our lovely customers I want to say a big thank you. Your support, kindness and humour over the years has kept us going inside our little pub.”

Fond memories

One Facebook user said they were “gutted”, as the venue had a “special place in our hearts” and had stepped in to save a wedding reception during Covid.

Another praised the pub as boasting the “absolute best Sunday lunch for miles”, and others recalled support the pub had offered during lockdown.

Recent figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have revealed that around 30 pubs a week closed across the first six months of the year.

Mass closure

The data showed 772 sites had been classed as long-term closed​ during this period, equivalent to 30 pubs a week, while 95 were converted or demolished with 31 of those lacking the relevant planning permission.

CAMRA​ pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins said: “Today's figures must be a wakeup call for Government at all levels to take a more proactive approach in ensuring compliance with the National Planning Policy Framework.”

According to CAMRA, UK pubs in England cannot be converted or demolished without planning permission, which “empowers” communities to have their say on the future of their locals.

However, the campaign stated the figures, released today (Tuesday 1 August), demonstrated a third of pub losses happen without the planning process having taken place.

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