Derbyshire pub to close after covid decimates trade

A Derbyshire pub landlord who has ploughed his heart, soul and finances into the business says he now has no option but to close the venue after covid decimated his trade.

Mark Ramsden, who owns The Soldier Dick in Furness Vale, says he cannot do any more to keep the pub afloat, and feels he has no option now but to turn the premises into housing.

“For seven years we have given our everything,” he said.

“We have spent money revamping the bedrooms and expanding our outside area but we just aren’t getting the customers through the doors anymore.

Mark Ramsden, landlord of the Soldier Dick

“Before covid we had regulars who were seven-day drinkers but so much has changed and people had too long at home and now those people we saw every day don’t come in at all.

“As the cost of living goes up one of the first things people are cutting out is their going out money. We are down by 60 per cent of what we normally do and we just can’t afford to keep our doors open.”

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The Soldier Dick dates back to 1804 and offers accommodation as well as the pub but with the pub not making money Mark had to make the tough decision to submit a planning application to High Peak Borough Council to convert and extend the building into six flats and two houses with associated car parking.

Mark Ramsden landlord of the Soldier Dick

He said: “We made sure we told our customers before we even submitted the plans to be fair to them.

“I know some people are moaning saying this was our plan all along to build houses but those people need to remember we have spent more than £100,000 of our own money investing in the business in the last seven years. This was never our plan but needs sadly must.

“We thought long and hard and this way we could help meet the housing need shortage.

“If everyone who was so worried about losing a local pub drank in the pub we wouldn’t be where we are now.

“Furness Vale used to have ten shops and businesses when we arrived but over the years they have all gone and it has become a ghost town and there is no future for us anymore in the pub trade.”