Village pub to shut doors

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

The Onley Arms pub in Stisted Essex to shut

Related tags Property

A village pub in Essex is set to close next week after business became "totally unviable".

Publican Graham Kent took to social media to announce he would close the the Onley Arms in Stisted for good.

This comes after data from the British Beer & Pub Association revealed more than 500 pubs shut permanently in 2023.

In 2013, Kent decided to buy the then named ‘The Onley Arms’ to try to present this from becoming yet another casualty of a brewery pub closure.

He claimed he did this with the intention of providing Stisted with a venue that the community would be proud of, one that the village welcomed and supported, this would offer local employment and fresh local produce.

With considerable investment the renovation and reconfiguration of the public house turned out to be "amazing," he added.

He continued: "Since the reopening in June 2016, the company has explored numerous avenues in an effort to develop the business and increase revenue stream. Unfortunately this has been through very challenging times which still show no signs of abating.

"The reality is that after nearly eight years of a huge financial investment by my company in this facility, the business has proven to be totally unviable.

"We are now aware that new plans have been approved for the golf club to provide a greater social space area expanding their food & beverage offering.

"I have now therefore regrettably come to a very difficult decision to close the public house at 5pm on Sunday 18 February. We will continue with the provision of the accommodation at the site."

"While I appreciate that this will come as very disappointing news to many of you, I would personally like to offer my sincere gratitude for your custom, loyalty and support to the Onley.

"I would especially like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful staff that have worked tirelessly to deliver a fantastic service and great experience to our customers over many years."

Speaking of the pubs lost in the past year, BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said that when a community loses a pub, it doesn't just lose the building and jobs, but it loses an irreplaceable cultural asset at the heart of the community.

She added: "In any local economy or community, pubs are an economic bellwether and there is an obvious connection between the loss of pubs and the decline of local High Streets.”

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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