The Moorcock Inn at Norland to close indefinitely due to 'unsustainable restrictions'

The owners of a popular moorland gastropub have confirmed that they are closing 'indefinitely but not permanently' as they cannot afford to operate under lockdown conditions.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 10:50 am

Alisdair Brooke-Taylor and Aimee Turford announced on The Moorcock Inn's Twitter page today that they had made the heartbreaking decision and would instead trade as a takeaway-only concern.

The country pub near Sowerby Bridge is known for its stunning views over the Ryburn Valley and focus on fresh produce from local growers and suppliers.

"It is with sadness (but determination), that we have decided to pre-empt what we feel is inevitable and close from Monday November 2.

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The Moorcock Inn

"This will be for a currently unknown length of time (but not forever), until we can trade again in conditions that are not restrictive to the point of being unsustainable.

"We lost a day of trading through being unsure whether to place beer orders etc. Eventually we settled in as part of the vast Tier 2 community but with Tier 3 ever on the periphery…

"Sure, we are easily as much a restaurant as a pub, so could potentially continue to trade, but with the entire loss of our drinking and walk-in trade. That is on top of losing 40 per cent of our capacity. On top of having only single household tables sat.

"On top of only being able to operate until 10pm. On top of the perhaps almost subconscious ‘spooking’ of potential guests that occurs each time a new announcement is made. On top of the fact we have spent far more of this year under restriction than not.

"We are at our limit. We experienced the extreme limbo before the first lockdown (‘you can stay open, but people should not go’- remember that one? A week of trade decimated back then too), and we see the same coming for us again. It’s just a restriction or two, too many.

"We can be sure when further announcements are made, that there will be no opportunity to prepare, no opportunity to deplete stock, no opportunity to limit the various other losses, problems and additional work created.

"Therefore, we have decided to no longer continue to be at the mercy of an ever-growing patchwork of empty three-word slogans.

"The industry as a whole has compromised so much, limited its capacity so greatly, muted its atmosphere to a whisper of what was before and done its best to adhere to last-minute changes, despite notably stringent rules and a notably high standard of compliance being enforced.

"No business is alike, and for some it is better to be able to trade on some level, than not to trade at all. But I would suspect that fewer are thriving than in those first reopening days.

"Anyway, for the rest of October, we plan on seeing as many of you as we can and enjoying it thoroughly. Then we will turn our attention to takeaway and Christmas retail. We are not giving up, rather we are taking matters into our own hands.