THE search is on for a new landlord at The Royal George pub after landlord Jason Worthington’s departure.
The award-winning publican is also set to leave The Clarence Hotel, at the opposite end of the village.
And is he going with concerns for the future of the local pub scene.
Jason, pictured above, and wife Nicky moved into the JW Lees owned Royal George in March 2015.
A year later it was named the brewery’s ‘newcomer of the year’ and shortlisted for ‘pub of the year’ and ‘most improved pub’.
In June 2018, he pulled the first pints at the newly refurbished Clarence on behalf of Enterprise Inns.
But back in January Jason confirmed his decision to quit the Royal George on Manchester Road.
Writing on Facebook he said: “It’s time to say thank you and goodbye to every one of our lovely staff and customers. After four and a half years of lots of highs and some lows our time here is done.
“We’re taking time out as a family and have no immediate plans.
“We gave it our best shot but inevitably ended up in the same dark place as a lot of landlords.
“We do fear for the local pubs as five landlords, including us, have left or are leaving at pretty much the same time.
“Hopefully there’ll be new talent and energy coming through and to those who are I wish them all the luck in the world in what can only be described as a very hard industry.
“Once again thanks to all our loyal customers. We’ve enjoyed turning from strangers to being your friends and it’s been a pleasure serving you all.
“Extra special thanks must go to my absolute rocks who are also leaving with me and going on to better things, David Spencer and Tommy.
“Thanks to all the team for continuing to run the place for the last few months when my mojo absolutely died.
“In order to safeguard a shocking financial settlement we’re unable to comment further on what’s gone right or wrong or how we’ve been treated or why we’re leaving. I’ll let you fill in the gaps.”
A spokesperson for Enterprise Inns said: “We can confirm the current publican at The Clarence Hotel will be leaving at the end of his agreement.
“The site is open and trading while we seek a new operator for this fantastic community pub.”