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Landlord set to quit popular Hellesdon pub

Landlord Patrick Cutter outside his pub The Bull at Hellesdon

Landlord Patrick Cutter outside his pub The Bull at Hellesdon

©Archant Photographic 2008

The landlord at a popular Hellesdon pub said today he had resigned himself to losing his business after failing to resolve a dispute with the owner.

Patrick Cutter has been the landlord at the Bull in Reepham Road for 13 years but he said trading conditions had been so dire recently he has been unable to make a living.

He is currently in discussion with the pub’s owner, Enterprise Inns, about a rent review, and said he has not paid the bill for the supply of the beer for the last few weeks.

Enterprise Inns has therefore not supplied him with beer this week but he said he has enough beer in stock to open the pub next week, but would then have to close the pub if the dispute was not resolved.

He said: “I’m resigned to the fact that my business is at an end. Enterprise will obviously bring in a manager to run the pub when or if I go.

“The staff have been told that they are on notice. I’m going to have to let most of them, and all those in the restaurant, go.

“I have got to make drastic cuts and close the restaurant and keep a nominal bar service, so I will lose a well-established food operation.

“At the start of next week we will just have a bar service available so we won’t need many of the 15 staff I currently employ.

“We have enough beer left to open the early part of next week, but Enterprise has not supplied me with beer this week. I have not paid bills for beer the last couple of weeks, so the first thing they do is stop supplying it.”

He said he paid £66,000 annual rent last year, and with declining trade offered to pay £40,000 this year, but Enterprise Inns is holding out for what it calls is a fair rent of £57,000.

Mr Cutter added: “If they agreed to my rental figure of £40,000 I could pay off the beer bills and my business debts and stay on. But to pay £57,000 for the next five years is not sustainable.

“In the last few months money has haemorrhaged and I have rung up Enterprise for help, but they have not been forthcoming. I love it here but you have got to make a living.”

He said he was proud of what he had achieved at the pub in his time.

“I’m more frustrated than anything else,” he added. “Enterprise wants me to stay but is not doing anything to help me.”

Enterprise Inns does not comment on its dealings with individual pubs.

The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.

Do you run a pub in the Norwich? Do you have sympathy with Mr Cutter’s position? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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