200% Rate Increase Forces Closure Of Sussex Pub

A Sussex pub has closed its doors after a massive hike in business rates saw the annual bill increase from £24,000 to £70,000

Announcing the closure on Facebook earlier this month Landlord Tim Skinner said “It is with deep regret that we have the sad news of the closing of The Three Crowns after 8 years in Wisborough Green.”

“With a huge rent increase last year alongside a 200% increase in business rates and property maintenance demands it has become a huge challenge for us to continue to trade. For the last 2 years we have dug our heels in and emptied our own pockets to keep the pub going in the heart of the village. We have had a huge amount of support from friends, family and villagers which has kept us going.”

“In May the trading business Sussex Pub Management LTD appointed a liquidator to discuss its options. It was our intention to renegotiate our lease terms which has sadly been unsuccessful. Due to the liquidation we are in breach of lease terms and have been served with forfeiture notice which sadly means that we are no longer able to trade.”

“As custodian’s of this wonderful village pub it’s been a pleasure and a honour to be here. We have loved being a part of Wisborough Green village life and have proudly supported numerous events, organisations and occasions. Loving the local weddings, family celebrations and day to day visitors with no 2 days the same.”

“We must Thank our amazing team members both past and present who have contributed to the heart of The Three Crowns over the years with continued hard work and loyalty. Our wonderful team would greatly appreciate all of your support over this difficult time, all of whom are great friends and like family.”

Almost 1,000 pubs in Britain closed last year with rates increases cited as a major contributor. A total of 914 pubs disappeared from communities.

Earlier this year UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pubs are being hit with a myriad of cost pressures at a time of unprecedented political uncertainty and unstable consumer confidence. Unless positive action is taken by the Government to address crippling costs, more pubs will be forced out of business.”

In April the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) warned that business rate increases are forcing publicans to lay off staff, increase prices and hold off investment.

A survey of 650 licensees by the pub campaign group found that three out of four believed the system was unfair to pubs.

Camra chief executive Tom Stainer said: “Since the last business rates revaluation in 2017, it has been clear that the system simply isn’t working for publicans.”