I am writing to update your article regarding the recent planning application for the kitchen extension at the New Inn on Highgate Lane, West Knighton.

It is true that we have applied for the extension to the existing very small kitchen currently in place, however the inference that the business continues to thrive during the Covid-19 restrictions is far from true.

The business and its staff have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions just like all the other pubs and hotels in the country, along with so many other businesses.

We are fortunate to own the Black Dog in Broadmayne, The New Inn at West Knighton along with the George Albert Hotel at Wardon Hill; all three businesses have been closed and the staff furloughed throughout the first and second lockdown.

The businesses were opened briefly after the first lockdown was lifted, however with the current Covid-19 restrictions in place the businesses are just not financially viable to be open with the costs of staffing, restocking and running.

The sad fact is that there are running costs that most people would not realise that are ongoing when operating a business even when closed and not trading due to lockdown that create a real financial strain on any business.

We have already invested heavily in both the Black Dog and The New Inn and are now looking to future proof the business, making use if possible of the current dramatic downturn in business and the fact that the business is currently in lockdown to enable us to facilitate changes without having a further impact on the revenue of the business.

Therefore we hope that the planners will look favourably on our application and pass it without delay.

Currently both the Black Dog and The New Inn remain closed although we plan to reopen as soon as the government guidelines and financial viability will allow, as I appreciate the importance of the village inn to the locals and the wider community as a social and public facility at the heart of village life.

My staff and I would like to thank both our customers and our staff for being so kind with words and support and whereas we may not be able to serve you Christmas cheer this year, we do wish everyone a very merry Christmas through this very testing time and hope to see you all as soon as possible.


West Knighton