Duke to be closed

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A CAMPAIGN to save one of Brandon’s most popular pub’s has failed after its owners confirmed that it will close.

The Duke of Wellington in Thetford Road will close in August after Greene King said it was ‘not sustainable’.

The landlords have opted to call time on the pub as Greene King is focusing its attention on the Five Bells in Market Hill, with £70,000 to be pumped into its refurbishment.

Elaine Beckett, spokes-woman for Greene King, said: “We will be closing the Five Bells in Brandon in August to invest and improve the pub for the community. There will be both an internal and external refurbishment with an investment of around £70,000.

“In order that we can do this and the view that the town cannot sustain both the Duke of Wellington and Five Bells, we will close the Duke of Wellington.”

More than 500 customers had signed a petition in June to keep the Duke open, with one campaigner presenting it to Brandon Town Council to garner support.

Fears were raised at the time over a restrictive covenant being place on the pub, but Greene King says it will not attempt to impose one. However, an application for change of use may be entered, with the potential for it to be sold off as housing.

The Five Bells will now be run by new licensee Sean Driscoll, who also manages the Bennett Arms in Rougham and the Elephant and Castle in Bury St Edmunds.

He said he would make the Five Bells a pub at the ‘centre of the community’.

“The pub will get a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Mr Driscoll added that curry and steak nights would be held with plans to refurbish its gardens included.

The Duke of Wellington’s closure leaves Brandon short of pubs in the town centre until the Five Bells is refurbished, with the Flintknappers remaining boarded up after it closed earlier this year.

No-one at the Duke of Wellington was available to comment on the closure.

Steve and Kevin Healy had been running the pub on a 12-month agreement signed in June last year.

They had previously stated they would like to continue at the pub.