South Oxfordshire pub to close for two months amid pandemic

by Jonathan Adams
South Oxfordshire

Covid-related problems and trading difficulties have combined to force the closure of the Plough Inn

A pub in South Oxfordshire has been forced to close its doors temporarily due to trading difficulties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Plough Inn, in Long Wittenham near Didcot, will close for two months; there are plans to re-open in March, when trading conditions are expected to improve.

Covid-related problems and trading difficulties have combined to force the closure of the Plough pub.

Trade in both the pub and restaurant sector has been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses have suffered alarming drops in trade and an estimated 500 pubs throughout the country have closed their doors.

Increases in the price of food and drink combined with rising energy prices have added to costs.

The Plough Inn posted on their Facebook page: Due to the Corona Virus pandemic our trade has fallen dramatically. At the same time our costs have soared. We have made the decision to close for January and February in an attempt to minimise our losses.

As you can imagine this has been a really, really difficult decision to make. We are hoping to be back with you in time for spring, it said.

The 17th century Grade II listed pub is run by Julie Carberry, but her son Liam and his wife Kim are in charge of the business.

The Plough belongs to the Wellington Pub Company, which according to its website, is the largest free-of-tie pub estates in the country with 800 pubs. The company is owned by David and Simon Reuben, for a period in 2020 the company offered to scrap or lower rents for nine months but only if tenants agreed to extend leases by five years. According to the spokesperson, this created a protest among some pub tenants.

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