A DREAM came true for Lyndsay and Mark Plumpton when they took over the tenancy of their own pub after years working for other people.

But after three and a half years they are having to leave, and it is not because of the chaos caused by the Covid pandemic.

Pub company Marston’s, which owns the Green Dragon in Bedale, has given them notice to quit, however the couple are determined to carry on in the industry.

"It is absolutely soul destroying," said Mark, 41. "We have built this pub into the most popular one in town.

"We think they waited until we reopened and had done all the work to get the pub ready.

"We believe it is all about money and because we have turned the pub around they now want to increase the rent.

"There was no warning, they just said they wanted a meeting in June and served us with three months notice. We have appealed but they refuse to change their mind.

"It was our first pub as our own business, we have both been involved in the trade for the last 20 years and managed pubs but this was our first as a tenant.

"It was our dream. We turned it into something with our own stamp on it with good local food, good beer and a warm welcome.

"Everybody says it is the best pub in Bedale and we had excellent reviews on tripadvisor and online.

"We worked really hard to make it the kind of pub people want to come too. Locals are devastated, this is a real community hub, they said we are victims of our own success."

The couple are keen to stay in the pub trade and are looking for alternative premises.

In the meantime they have to leave in two weeks. Lyndsay, 39, said: "This is what we always wanted to do, but we are determined to carry on."

The couple are being supported by campaigner David Mountford, who has been investigating complaints against pub companies including Marston’s over tenancy terminations after the introduction of the pub code in 2016.

He said: "We now intend to write to Richmond MP Rishi Sunak and demand to know why his Government is allowing pub companies to terminate agreements with little or no justification and why the pubs code has failed so spectacularly."

Marston’s did not respond to specific requests for a comment.

An email to Mr Mountford, which was also sent to this newspaper, said: "Our decision to terminate the agreement at the Green Dragon has been taken due to a breakdown in our working relationship with Mr Plumpton.

"As you are aware, we have served notice in accordance the provisions of our agreement and look forward to an orderly hand over."


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