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The Wheatsheaf’s last pint

PHOTO: NEIL CROSS
Nick Webster is the manager of the Wheatsheaf pub in Coppull and says a massive hike in rental charges from the brewery are threatening to push him out of business

PHOTO: NEIL CROSS Nick Webster is the manager of the Wheatsheaf pub in Coppull and says a massive hike in rental charges from the brewery are threatening to push him out of business

A Coppull pub has closed after running out of stock.

The Wheatsheaf, on Spendmore Lane, opened for the last time on Sunday, and manager Nick Webster claims the brewery is to blame for increasing rents and stopping deliveries.

He said: “We’ve basically run out of beer because we owe the brewery some money, and they’ve stopped delivering to us until we pay them.

“But we can’t afford to pay them if we’re not making anything, so we’ve had to close.”

Mr Webster, 24, claimed brewery Enterprise Inns sent them a £9,000 bill one week, of which the pub still owes £4,000.

“They also increased our rent by a significant amount,” he told the Guardian. “I think the bill was from a backlog of rents and stock, but we couldn’t pay it all at once.”

Mr Webster, whose girlfriend’s family has owned the business for three years, added: “The brewery agreed to install a kitchen for us last year, and said they’d increase our rent six months after the kitchen was finished, but they took seven months to start the work, and started charging us a higher rent before the kitchen was even installed.

“The idea was to help us bring more customers to the pub; we wanted to start making food, but the kitchen’s never been used because we can’t afford to buy the appliances.

“I would have thought the brewery would want to support a family business and help us to survive, rather than making it impossible for us to continue trading.”

Mr Webster and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Devon Thiem, 21, are now looking for work elsewhere.

“The pub is usually really busy, but we just don’t have the stock to sell anymore,” he added. “It’s very disheartening because we’ve all worked so hard.

“We’d like to say sorry to our customers for the situation, and we’re sad to announce that the pub will be closed until further notice.”

When asked about for a comment about the Wheatsheaf, a spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “Enterprise Inns do not discuss the private and confidential matters which may arise in the business relationships with their publicans, but will continue our discussions with our licensee.”

 
 
 

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