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Fears for future of Bury St Edmunds community pub after Greene King closures announcement

Concerns have been raised about the future of a Bury St Edmunds pub which is among those affected in a slew of closures announced by Greene King with 800 jobs at risk.

The pubs giant, based in Westgate Street, confirmed yesterday it would not reopen 79 sites with 26 of those to close permanently amid the fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic.

About 800 staff are affected with roles being sought elsewhere in the company, which has called on the Government to provide more support to help the sector.

Macebearer in Bury St Edmunds
Macebearer in Bury St Edmunds

The Macebearer, in Home Farm Lane, Bury St Edmunds, is among the 79 but a Greene King spokesman said they ‘hope at some stage to be able to reopen it for the community’.

However, residents on the Nowton estate are concerned about when exactly the Macebearer will reopen, if at all.

Pub regular Adrian Knox, 54, said: "It's a community hub, a meeting place on the estate, where people have made friendships and met and got married.

"It's a place where charity work is done.

"If something happens to you, in that pub you are surrounded by people who want to help.

"There are concerns that it won't reopen and it won't reopen quick enough.

"The staff at the hospital have been working really really hard. A lot of them live on the estate and go and have a drink at the Macebearer.

"They've lost somewhere they can go and calm down and chill out before heading home."

Yesterday, a spokesman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to Government support was always going to make it a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

“Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week.

“Around one-third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future.

“We are working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.

“We urgently need the Government to step in and provide tailored support to help the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses.”

The company runs more than 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK and employs 38,000 people.

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