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The New Inn hits rocks of recession

PUBLISHED: 10:47 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 23 August 2010

ANOTHER town centre pub has closed due to the recession, writes Alex Perry. The New Inn, in Milton Road, Gravesend, has joined the Railway Tavern, in Railway Place, and the Market Tavern, High Street, in calling time at the bar. Admiral Taverns, the bre

ANOTHER town centre pub has closed due to the recession, writes Alex Perry.

The New Inn, in Milton Road, Gravesend, has joined the Railway Tavern, in Railway Place, and the Market Tavern, High Street, in calling time at the bar.

Admiral Taverns, the brewery which owns the New Inn evicted the landlords on Saturday.

A spokesman for the company said: "We were forced to serve the landlord notice to leave the pub after they continually failed to pay their bills."

Devastated landlady Clair Nevell, 46, said: "I'm absolutely gutted to be honest. I've been here for seven-and-a-half years.

"I appreciate everyone who's stood by me and I'd like to thank all the staff and customers of the New Inn since I've been here."

Despite Pubs Minister John Healey's action plan to give practical support to community pubs, backed by £4m in government funding, landlords in the town remain sceptical.

Barry Brody, 45, runs The New Troc on Windmill Street with partner Lisa Howlett. He said: "The government promises these funds, but then they tell us they're going to stop us from doing Happy Hour and 2-4-1 offers.

"It is good that they're doing this because no one likes to see any kind of business close down, but it's in one hand and out the other."

Miss Howlett, 36, added: "There's even talk of bringing in a 'happy tax', charging pubs to have pool tables, dart boards and quiz machines. It's outrageous."

Despite Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) welcoming the move, Mr Brody remains dubious as 40 pubs are closing every week across the country, resulting in job losses and millions of pounds lost to the economy. He said: "That £4m won't do anything. A third of the cost of a pint is taxed and what they need to do is relieve us of that." Admiral Taverns will review options as to what to do with the New Inn over the coming months.

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