Landlord calls for more support for independent businesses on railway platforms, after closing the Railway Arms in Downham Market
A landlord who is quitting his family-run business after seven years, because of a proposed rent increase, has urged train companies to better support independent units on platforms.
The award-winning Railway Arms pub and the Fenland Express café, both on platform one of Downham Market's train station, closed down earlier this week.
Ian Pinches said the rent increase 'would have made the business no longer economically viable'.
He added: 'It is all very sad... we would like to think all those involved now reflect on how they deal with small independent units on railway platforms to ensure they give real support to prevent this happening again.'
Customers have been expressing their sadness at the news, with Jenny Simpson saying: 'You understand businesses closing when they are not doing well or are not well supported, but this place has won numerous awards.
You may also want to watch:
'It was so much more than just a station café. It offered great coffee, a bacon sandwich or a Danish, a newspaper... it was also our waiting room, crammed full of books, and offered free wi-fi.
'And in the evening it was a cosy little pub. It's totally unique and the users of the station, and local residents, both cherished it.'
- 1 Indian variant Covid cases in Norfolk 'cause to be cautious'
- 2 Norfolk farmhouse with indoor pool for sale by online auction
- 3 Heavy downpours and strong winds to batter Norfolk
- 4 Man in 30s airlifted to hospital following serious fall
- 5 City poised for Maddison cash boost
- 6 Riverside pub welcomes customers again with new owners
- 7 Best bargain ever? Village hall for sale for £35,000
- 8 Man drowned after drifting out onto lake on air bed
- 9 Inquest into death of 22-year-old swimmer at Norfolk beauty spot
- 10 Staff at food firm receive £900 bonus each
Maria Taylor said she travelled from Downham Market train station rather than the nearer King's Lynn station just for the wonderful bacon sandwiches, while James Bagge, from Stradsett, said: 'Utter disaster... it was the one enterprise which attracted the rest of Norfolk to Downham.'
A spokesman for Great Northern, which runs rail services from Downham Market to Cambridge and London, said 'a very modest rent increase' had been offered, after 'several years without an increase'.
Are you reluctantly closing a much-loved business? Email firstname.lastname@example.org