'Great sadness' as spiralling bills force landlord to close pub down

Spiralling energy costs have forced a landlord to close the doors of his pub for the last time.

The Wheatsheaf pub in Cannock has been forced to close its doors. Pictured is landlord Vik Jamwal
The Wheatsheaf pub in Cannock has been forced to close its doors. Pictured is landlord Vik Jamwal

Vik Jamwal closed The Wheatsheaf Inn at Laney Green in Wolverhampton Road, Cannock, on Monday.

An announcement on the pub's Facebook page put the decision down to the increase in a variety of costs which made the business unviable.

"It is with great sadness that I have decided to close The Wheatsheaf Inn. Unfortunately due to increase in utility cost, council cost and various others it is not feasible to carry on," Mr Jamwal's message to customers read.

"I take this time to express my gratitude to my loyal customers, I hope to see you soon in one of my other pubs where you will see familiar faces to welcome you.

"To my wonderful staff who have made this venue a delight to visit, who have worked hard throughout, I salute you. See you all very soon.

"I wish Marston's all the best for their future business."

The Wheatsheaf pub in Cannock has been forced to close its doors. Pictured is landlord Vik Jamwal..

Speaking to the Express & Star, Mr Jamwal explained how much rising bills had hit the business.

"I have been working in the business of pubs for 10 years and been running The Wheatsheaf for six, but now with the increase in rent and the energy crisis now, I cannot continue to run this pub," he said.

"My energy costs were 23 pence per kWh but have now gone over four times over and is now 96 pence, and so we cannot continue to run like this with the increasing cost.

"We unfortunately just cannot keep up with the increases - especially energy bills going up over four times the previous amount.

"I want to say to our customers that we are not going away for good, our chain of six pubs have not gone, and we will still continue to run at our other sites."

Mr Jamwal also runs the Mary Rose in Cheslyn Hay, The New Ivy House in Bloxwich, and The Boat Inn in Penkridge.

He added: "We will still continue to serve food at our other sites and people with bookings at the Wheatsheaf Inn can contact us about that."

Dozens of people shared their sadness at the closure of the pub in response to the closure announcement on the pub's Facebook page.

One commenter said: "Very sad news. Thank you for an amazing party on Sunday and I am so sorry to see you all go," while another added: "Sad to hear this. We celebrated our 40th anniversary with you only yesterday."

A spokesperson from Marston's said: "A new operator is taking over the Wheatsheaf at the end of next week (18th November). Vik is a long-time partner of Marston’s and we continue work with him at his other pubs.

"His departure has been brought about by energy price increases, his current utility contract ended this week and he has taken the opportunity to leave now.

"The new operator has taken the pub on the new Marston’s Pillar agreement and she will be up and running very soon."

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