A pub will be sold off after the brewery which owns it struggled to find someone to run it.

National chain Greene King has announced the "difficult decision" to sell the Heartsease, which has been closed since December.

The proposed sale has shocked those who have known it as the "heart" of the community since 1839.

The Heartsease has been around since 1839The Heartsease pub has been around since 1839 (Image: Newsquest)

In March last year, the hunt was on for a new landlord to take over the long-standing pub, which had been under the same ownership since 2012.

It was advertised as 95pc of sales coming from drinks, offering the potential to increase the food offering to drive up profits.

However, despite Greene King's best efforts, a long-term tenant for the pub was not found.

A Greene King spokeswoman said: "Having explored all options for the Heartsease, we have taken the difficult decision to sell the pub.

"This is never an easy thing to do and we are aware that this will be disappointing news to the local community.

Councillor Ian Mackie said the sale could leave the Heartsease community without a pubCouncillor Ian Mackie said the sale could leave the Heartsease community without a pub (Image: Ian Mackie)

"We would like to thank all those who have enjoyed visiting the pub over the years."

Ian Mackie, Conservative county councillor for neighbouring Thorpe St Andrew, is worried about the long-term impact and said: "This pub was at the heart of the Heartsease for nearly 200 years.

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"The greatest risk of a sale is that the property may no longer function as a licensed premises, which would be a blow to the local community.

The previous owners closed up in January this yearThe previous owners closed the pub last December (Image: Newsquest)

"There's huge potential with the right buyer, but sadly all too often the sale of an urban pub means permanent change.

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"Sadly we have seen developers take years to complete change-of-use projects, such as the never-ending work at the former Buck public house in Yarmouth Road. 

The Heartsease is located next to the roundabout of the same nameThe Heartsease pub is next to the roundabout of the same name (Image: Newsquest)

"This sale could leave the Heartsease community without a pub."

The Heartsease sits alongside the busy roundabout of the same name, which had various road closures during an eight-month £4.4m revamp which started last September.