ONE of Wigan’s best known pubs has closed its doors.
Landlord Dan Prince told staff at the award-winning Crown at Worthington on Tuesday that the hotel had been forced to shut and that they no longer had jobs.
It’s a real shame to see an award winning pub have to close its doors because it’s not making moneyKen Worthington
It’s a sad end to a pub that has been held in such high regard and in 2009 was voted the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) regional pub of the year in 2009.
Ken Worthington, vice chairman of Wigan Camra, said: “It’s a real shame to see an award winning pub have to close its doors because it’s not making money.
“There are a lot of things that are involved with running a pub.
“There are overheads and you’ve got to be able to make a profit.
“It’s a real shame to see it go. This is happening a lot across Wigan.
“It’s not just pubs like the Crown, there are other pubs that are closing.
The exact reasons as to why the Crown has had to close are unknown, but for many years it has led the way with real ale and fine food including its legendary butcher’s block which brought customers flocking from across the North West.
However, back in 2014, Mr Prince, who ran the Crown with his wife Tracy, complained of extremely high business rates.
At the time, he was challenging having to pay £2,500 a month and said it made “life extremely difficult.”
The businesses rateable value had risen from £26,000 to £65,000 in just six years, while other similar sized businesses had seen a much steadier increase in that time period.
Camra is now warning Wiganers that they need to use their pubs or risk losing them.
Mr Worthington pointed to a number of issues facing establishments every day and even said that the annual Dry January project – which sees people give up the booze for a month after Christmas – is adding to the list of problems.
“There are a number of reasons pubs struggle,” added Mr Worthington.
“One is that people can buy cheap booze in supermarkets and off-licenses.
“Another is things like Dry January, which a lot of people are getting into which can be a death knock for some pubs after the Christmas period when it goes quiet.
“Rather than going int othe pubs, they’re staying at home and pubs are struggling to get an income in.
“There is something now called Tryanuary which encourages people to try breweries and pubs otherwise this sort of thing can happen.
“A lot of people are moving towards micro-pubs, a lot of which are opening in Wigan.
“We are telling people to use their pub or risk losing it.”
Despite several attempts, we were unable to to make contact with Mr Prince.