Wisborough Green pub shuts doors for the last time

Three Crowns. Picture via Google Streetview
Three Crowns. Picture via Google Streetview

A Wisborough Green pub has shut its doors for the last time with the management citing 'huge rent increases' and a 200 per cent increase in business rates.

The Three Crowns in Billingshurst Road has been run by Tim Skinner for the past eight years. Tim called it a 'pleasure and an honour' to work at the free-house but said due to an increase in rent and business rates, keeping the pub up-and-running became a 'huge challenge'.

He said: "It was all a bit unexpected in many ways. Although we have been in negotiations with our landlord to renegotiate the terms which didn't go very far.

"I think business rates should be completely scrapped for pubs which are a community asset. Everyone now is so connected in other ways but the real way a community comes together is in a pub and we have seen that - everyone is welcome."

Tim said the other businesses in the community have stepped forward to help with events that can no longer be held at the pub.

Part of a post on the pub's Facebook page read: "For the last 2 years we have dug our heels in and emptied our own pockets to keep the pub going in the heart of the village. We have had a huge amount of support from friends, family and villagers which has kept us going.

"We have loved looking after each and every one of our lovely guests and Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your support and custom over the years."

Brook Saunders, who owns Wisborough Green brewery Brolly Brewing, described the challenges pubs are facing as 'very tough'.

"It has been made completely impossible," he said.

"[Tim] turned that pub around and he turned it into a fantastic venue. He really did a fantastic job with it. To see it go when it was at the top of its game just goes to show how impossible it's getting. He was pushing and pushing to keep it going. We have lost our local pub — having that there meant a lot to me."