Cost of Living: Berkshire pub forced to close for the winter due to rising bills

  • ITV Meridian's Mel Bloor has been speaking to the owner of The White Hart Inn, Stella Coulthurst, and Emma McClarkin from the British Beer and Pub Association.

A West Berkshire pub has announced it is to temporarily close due to a huge increase in costs.

The White Hart Inn, in Hamstead Marshall, says it is currently unable to 'operate at a profit' and will shut on October 24.

The pub, which has seen energy bills more than treble, hopes to reopen next Spring.

It comes as property analysts revealed 50 pubs a month are now disappearing from communities across England and Wales.

The White Hart Inn says it has seen an increase in costs and a downturn in spending.

In a statement, a pub spokesperson said: "We are sorry to tell you that we have decided to close The White Hart Inn from October 24 until next spring.

"Our decision reflects our huge increase in costs - both food and energy - and the downturn in spending as our customers face the challenge of inflation.

"We are simply unable to operate at a profit, or even close to breakeven, in the current environment.

"We are hopeful that the situation will soon resolve, meaning we can re-open at the beginning of March."

  • Owner Stella Coulthurst says costs are spiralling out of control

Simon Moore, a regular customer at The White Hart, said: "The village pub is a British institution and it is a shame to lose them.

"There are so many villages now that are just empty and people don't just bump into one another anymore.

"The shops have gone and then the pub goes and it just breaks apart communities."

Another customer, Trish Tandy, said: "It's just nice to be able to wonder down and meet the rest of the community and have a meal if you like and it's just a nice place to be."

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