Falling trade forces sale

A pub near Ripley is set to close after it was sold to a London buyer by the brewery.

Ten part-time jobs are also set to be lost when the Devonshire Arms at Buckland Hollow calls last orders in March.

Tenant Dean Arnold, who took over as landlord in 2010, is now not only looking for a new job - but also a new home for himself and his teenage sons.

Dean, 46, said: “I have got to find everything - lock, stock and barrel. I am looking for another pub. Sales have been declining - trade has been getting tougher. There has been a lot less general custom.”

He said his a carvery on Sundays remained popular - as were music nights on Saturdays - but that it was hard to keep going on that basis.

Custom during the week had also slowed to the point that he no longer opened on weekdays. Dean added: “Not enough people are coming out on the Friday night. It’s quite remote so people have to drive or get taxis. I don’t think people have the money.”

Last year the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) found that 20 pubs closed in Derbyshire in the six months to March 2012 and the county was placed as fifth-worst hit by closures nationally. Since 2008 the number of regular pub-goers has dropped by three million and more than 5,800 pubs had been forced to close their doors in the UK.

Andy Clifford, property and strategy director of Admiral Taverns, said: “From time-to-time we review the pubs in our estate and occasionally we do have to take the decision to sell a pub that no longer fits our criteria for ownership. The Devonshire Arms is such a pub. It is always our preference that any pub that we sell remains as a pub, although we have to accept that the issue of future use will ultimately pass into the hands of any new owner and of course the local planning authorities.”

Since no stock is set to be transferred, it is expected that the premises will no longer trade as a pub and another use will be sought - although no planning application has yet been lodged with Amber Valley Borough Council.

Dean ran the Woodville pub in Swadlincote for ten years before he took the Devonshire Arms over. He said he is now looking for a small local pub to run. Despite the looming closure, He is still running a disco on Thursday and band nights on Friday and Saturday. Many of the local bands are set to return for a series of celebratory farewell gigs. Check the pub website for details.