Job loss fears over the closure of The Bear on Dyer Street, Cirencester
A CENTRAL Cirencester pub is set to close at the end of the month.
The Bear Inn on Dyer Street, Cirencester, is being forced to close its doors after the building’s owners, Cardiff-based brewery S.A. Brains, increased the rent higher than the leaseholders, Moles Brewery, could afford.
Manager Nick Mann, who has been running the pub for two and a half years, said he and his seven staff all stood to lose their jobs when it closed its doors for the last time at the end of the month.
“We were originally told at the end of April with a close date of the end of June, then they changed it to end of July and now the close date is the end of September,” he said.
“All we’ve been told is the Brains management division want the pub back, empty, on the first of October and that it will be closed for a significant period of time while they do work on it.”
He added customers and organisations in the town had rallied around to try and save the pub, but with no luck.
“We sent a 500 signature petition to Brains, to which we’ve had no response, we sent a letter from Cirencester Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA), to which there was no response, and a letter from Cirencester Behave or Be Banned (BOB) scheme, to which we’ve had no response,” he said.
“Unfortunately these things just don’t work.”
Nick added he had been able to turn the fortunes of the pub around during his time as manager.
“When I took it on it certainly wasn’t a place I would have come for a drink,” he said.
“In two and a half years we’ve increased food offering and takings and so many people have come in saying ‘I’ve not been here in years – its lovely’.
“Luckily I’ve been able to get a job stocktaking pubs and hotels but it’s not what I really want to do.
“Some of my staff have managed to get other work too, but unfortunately pubs don’t just appear, especially in Cirencester.”
Brains sales and marketing director Richard Davies said the brewery had reached a mutual agreement with Moles to hand back the pub.
“We feel it’s the right time to develop the Bear Inn and expand the offer,” he said. “Refurbishment work will start next month and customers can expect a traditional British inn, serving a wide range of cask ales and quality food in informal surroundings.”