Landlords of award-winning pub announce decision to leave

George and Dragon, Hudswell. Photo: Google.

The landlords of an award-winning pub have announced they are to hand back the keys.

Mark and Michelle Firby say they have taken the decision due to rising costs.

The community-owed pub has won numerous awards in recent years including the National Pub of the Year title in 2017.

The current tenants took over last year following the departure of previous landlord Stuart Miller.

The Firbys said in a statement posted on social media: “It is with great sadness that we are posting this today but we have been forced to come to the decision to cease trading as tenant landlords of the George and Dragon at the end of this month, Thursday 31st August 2023.

“We were completely committed and passionate about keeping the doors open everyday since starting to trade, however ever increasing costs, electricity and VAT repayments have put incredible pressure on us and although the diary is full and we welcome many wonderful people through the door, without the immediate help of the HCP Directors and Our Government we simply cannot continue.

“We are devastated by this, having worked tirelessly and given our absolute all over the last twelve months.”

The couple said they apologised to the shareholders of the community pub.

“We will provide each one with a full report of our reasons and what has brought this to an abrupt and sad conclusion if they wish.”

They added: “We would also like to thank all of our customers and of course our staff.”

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