Barnstaple pub closes due to ‘lack of trade’

The Wrey Arms pub in Sticklepath, Barnstaple, has closed its doors this week.

The Wrey Arms pub in Sticklepath, Barnstaple, has closed its doors this week. - Credit: Archant

But Wrey Arms owners say they are ‘hopeful’ of finding a new tenant to re-open business.

THE Wrey Arms pub in Barnstaple has closed its doors this week due to a lack of trade.

Business owner Julian Turner, who also runs the Agricultural Inn in Braunton, said he had no choice but to close the Sticklepath pub.

Mr Turner, who took over the pub a year ago, told the Gazette: “The reality is that I was losing less money with the doors shut than I am with them open.

“It’s not a viable business for me any more and I need to concentrate on running the one pub.

“We’ve got a buzzing pub in the Agi in Braunton and I hoped to do similar with the Wrey in Barnstaple after I took on the tenancy last year.

“Unfortunately that wasn’t to be; I think the Wrey has now had four owners in five years and now I’m on the list now which I’m obviously quite disappointed about.”

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Mr Turner said trade during the Christmas period had been ‘poor’ and the Wrey had fared particularly badly.

“It was a pretty poor time for everyone but the broader picture is that it is a very bad time for pubs in general at the moment,” he said.

“The trade isn’t there and the council tax is actually more than the rent – we’ve found it quite stifling.”

But he said he was optimistic that a new tenant could be found to get the Wrey Arms up and running again.

“There are a great deal of pubs in North Devon that will not open again but hopefully the Wrey will not be one of those,” he said.

“We are trying to get someone to take it on and get it back open again and there are some positive signs that this will happen fairly soon.”

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