By Tristan Harris 23/05 Updated: 28/05 13:01
A TRADITIONAL English country pub which delighted its villagers when it re-opened its doors on St George's Day in 2009 has closed again.
There was much jubilation when the Dodford Inn began serving again, as the village had lost many of its amenities. It came after the hard-fought two-year-long Save The Dodford Inn Campaign which saw controversial plans to turn the site into housing thrown out by Bromsgrove District Council's planning department.
But now, three years after landlord Richard Scott and his wife Mini took over the pub, it is closed again.
A spokesperson for Redditch and Bromsgrove CAMRA said the group was saddened to hear the community of Dodford was without its village pub.
"Licensees Richard and Mini Scott have given an immense amount of support to CAMRA while running the Dodford Inn; and it’s a terrible shame to see them go. We wish them all the best for the future.
2We hope that the pub will re-open its doors as soon as possible and are working with a variety of parties to ensure that the inn will continue as a pub.
"Found just outside Bromsgrove, the Dodford Inn has the opportunity to offer visitors a relaxing atmosphere in a countryside environment; serving real ales with home-cooked food.
"The pub has regularly featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and has held a variety of music and theme nights.”
A spokesperson for GRS Pub Investments Ltd said the company was doing all it could to get the pub open again.
He said: "We are in conversation with one or two parties and we are hoping to finalise a deal to get it re-opened as soon as possible."
Mr Scott claimed one rent increase a year after he took over, another one which came in on May 1, and spiralling overheads took their toll.
"With that, 20 per cent VAT and higher utility bills, we simply could not afford to carry on.
"My wife, myself and my daughter are all devastated - it is a beautiful pub in a fantastic location.
"We built up a solid food trade, there was a good following for the real ales and we put on lots of special events.
"We ran it how we felt a pub should be run and a lot of people agreed with us - we had a lot of people in tears on the last day, along with text messages, e-mails and Facebook messages of support.
"It has all been overwhelming."
The GRS Pub Investments Ltd spokesperson said he would not comment on the claims made by Mr Scott.
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