Popular pub closes after financial struggle during coronavirus lockdown – Nottinghamshire Live

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Rent payments coupled with a lack of income during the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a pub in Ilkeston having to close.

Staff at The Needlemakers Arms announced the closure on its Facebook page and a spokeswoman for Star Pubs & Bars, part of Heineken, confirmed the licensees had handed in their notice.

The statement on the pub’s Facebook read: “It is with a very heavy heart that I have to let you all know that I’ve handed the keys back to the pub today.

“Unfortunately I’m no longer able to afford to pay rent on a pub with no income.

“Devastated doesn’t even come close to how I’m feeling. Thank you all for your support and (I) hope to see you around Ilkeston at some point.”

A spokeswoman from Star Pubs & Bars said: “The former licensees of The Needlemakers Arms gave notice which they’re entitled to do.

“We are looking to recruit new licensee to take on this popular local pub. In the meantime the pub will remain closed.

“We are, and will, continue to do as much as we can to help our pubs.

“In addition to the Government’s waivers and grants to help cover rent, salaries and other fixed costs, Star Pubs & Bars is offering additional support on an individual basis, including cancelling 50 percent to 90 percent of rent for many pubs and suspending the collection of any rent until at least the end of August.

“Once the restrictions are lifted, we want to see all of our pubs open, trading and operating as viable businesses as soon as possible.”

The pub, in Kensington Street, had reopened back in 2018 after a £10,000 revamp.

Councillor Jane Wilson, who represents the Cotmanhay ward for Labour on Erewash Borough Council, said it was a shame the pub had closed and explained it had been popular with locals.

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“It was always a busy pub and they had got darts teams. I know that because my daughter plays darts.”

Explaining it was a “shame when any business falls through no fault of their own”, she added: “A lot of people were locals to it; local to that pub.

“I think older people who can’t get anywhere else. I think it will be missed by the people who have always used it, obviously.

“But the thing is pubs come and go, don’t they, I am afraid.”