Local residents are being asked to help get a village pub back open.
The George and Dragon in Hudswell has temporarily closed following the departure of the latest tenant.
The long-standing landlord, Stuart Miller, left after eight year last year, with then pub taken over by Mark and Michelle Firby.
However, they have now handed back the keys after finding the rise in energy, food and drink prices too much.
Members of the Hudswell Community Pub Ltd, which owns the premises, said they made offers of help to the couple, but the tenants decided to end their tenancy from the August 31.
Secretary to the board of HCP, Martin Booth said “We were shocked by the announcement.
“We knew that they’d had a difficult year and had offered financial support, but Mark and Michelle had made up their minds that they needed to end the tenancy.
“They have just delivered a fantastic beer festival and so are leaving on a high note, but nonetheless we are left with a big problem.”
The local community is now being urged to help get the pub back open again by donating bar equipment, furniture and other items.
Martin added: “With the departing tenants taking most of their furniture and fittings with them, we are reaching out to our village community and shareholders once again for donations of bar equipment and furniture, pictures and decorative touches to enable us to reopen as soon as possible.
“We will work with our current dedicated bar staff to offer an interim service to our loyal customers while we continue to search for a new tenant.
“We have been talking to suppliers, all of whom have said what a great pub it is and that we are sure to find someone else to take it on soon.”
Chair of HCP Paul Cullan said: “We have a great community here and they won’t let our pub die.
“The board members and other volunteers will run it for as long as necessary, giving ourselves plenty of time to find the right person to take the George and Dragon on to the next stage of its development.”
All inquiries about the tenancy and offers of assistance/furniture should contact the secretary by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The pub reopened in 2010 and has won numerous awards including CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year in 2017.