A landlord has announced the closure of a Suffolk village pub. 

The George in Cavendish, near Sudbury, shut down in the first week of January after owner Lewis Bennet said the business struggled to recover after the Covid pandemic. 

Mr Bennet described the closure as "gutting" because the team had been in charge of the venue for more than 12 years. 

He added: "We built up a really good reputation and people seemed to really love it there. 

"Shutting the doors was a really, really hard decision to make. 

"I have a really small, tight team and to break the news to them was heartbreaking because they stuck by me through thick and thin."

Mr Bennet said the cost of living crisis and rising energy prices were the principal reason behind the pub closing.

It is the latest Suffolk pub to shut its doors in recent weeks as landlords struggle to make ends meet due to soaring bills.

Mr Bennet added: "During Covid there were grants that helped a lot, but we still had to pay full rent the whole time.

East Anglian Daily Times: The George in Cavendish. Picture: NewsquestThe George in Cavendish. Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

"When we reopened any grant money was gone with all the overheads, and although we did loads to try and keep things ticking over, like takeaways, we were wiped out financially and had to rebuild. 

"The first summer was great – we restructured the business by dropping two days we were open and a couple of staff left, but instead of replacing them we went to a smaller team to try and keep costs low. 

"I think every time we locked down again it dented people's confidence. 

"We have just been struggling to recover ever since. 

"Then with the whole cost of living and not only energy prices but the cost of goods went sky high. 

"You can only put your prices up so much and it just got to the point where we were hoping for a really good Christmas, and we had a few good weeks, but I opened up between Christmas and New Year to try and get that final push and unfortunately it didn't really work."