A town centre venue which has just got to its feet after opening during Covid has blasted a more than £20,000 rise in energy costs.

The Jube in Market Gates says it expects its electricity bill to go up from £6,000 to £26,000 and its gas bill from £400 to £2,000.

Owner Bradely Fish tagged the increases as "criminal".

And while the business was already doing all it could to minimise energy use, it might have to trim opening hours to ensure it survives, he said.

"I thought if we could get through Covid we could get through anything," he added.

"It is criminal and it should not be allowed.

"The Government should step in and do something.

"They know what it is doing to society and the fabric of businesses. They should have stepped in way before.

"The poverty and stress it is going to bring is disgraceful.

"It is daylight robbery."

His comments came after regulator Ofgem announced the cap on pricing for households will increase by 80pc by October 1.

"We still feel as if we have not properly launched," he added.

"But we are still here and have something to show for our efforts.

"We need the customers to support us through the winter. If anything that is a better time for us and the diary is not looking too bad.

"We have more bookings for functions and we are looking forward to the World Cup in November.

"We do not want this to be a show stopper but things can only go so far.

"If all you are doing is working to pay your electricity bill there is no fun in that."

Gail Smith of Luck, Lust, Liquor and Grind, in King Street, Yarmouth, said she was worried about the winter.

"We have seen an increase, of course," she said. "But Yarmouth is a holiday town and the pubs tend to be busy so we are taking more money and not spending money on heating.

"Our concern is going into the winter when trade will go down like it does every year."

She said many pubs would have no option but to pass increases onto equally hard-pressed customers.

However she was determined people would still get a warm welcome at her pub so they could leave their homes and meet up with friends just when they needed it most.