A FAMILY who have had a three-decades long association with a Leek pub have given in their notice to quit the premises – blaming new premises in the town for their decision.
Janet and Frank Burgess have given Punch Taverns notice that they wish to leave The Dyers Arms in Macclesfield Road.
The couple and their family are hoping to move by the end of November.
The premises are now advertised for new tenants to take over the business.
Janet said: "I am gutted. The family has a 30-year association with the pub.
"However, since Weatherspoon opened The Green Dragon in Leek it has taken away a lot of our trade, so we have struggled.
"Now with Marston's also planning to come opposite to us we can't stay any longer.
"These are sad times and I think the council should look at helping small businesses as they do need help in these difficult times. People do not realise how hard it is to run a pub and restaurant.
"The family have worked very hard over the years and we have darts and dominoes teams. Since we have given in our notice we have received many comments and well wishes from people.
Bar manager at the pub is Janet's son Paul Richardson.
Paul, aged 36, said: "We are paying £600 a week in rent and the beer we buy is tied to Punch. These are difficult times and the opening of Weatherspoon affected us. Now that Marston's has got planning permission so close to us it will have the same effect.
"The family has been talking about leaving for about two months, but it is difficult as we have such a long association with the premises. It will also mean that eight people will lose their part-time jobs, unless the new tenants take them on.
"We have four darts teams and two dominoes teams. We also run three coaches to Stoke City home games.
"This was started in 2000 with 10 people, now we have 190 season tickets holders. We will have to look at how to run the coaches when we leave.
"I will be sad to go as I have been connected to the pub since I was a youngster, and I have seen three generations of families coming to the premises. The customers are gutted when we told them of our decision.
A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: "We are seeking new licensees for the Dyers Arms.
"We are holding an open day on Friday 5th September in Biddulth. If any readers are interested in finding out more about this opportunity they can ring 01283 501999."