The landlady of a County Durham pub says the cost of living crisis has forced her to end her tenancy and reduce the pub's opening hours.

In an emotional statement, the landlady of the King's Head in Cockfield, Bishop Auckland, described her difficulties amid soaring bills.

It comes as dozens of businesses across the North East and North Yorkshire have said they will either close or reduce their trading times due to the crisis.

In a statement, the landlady of the King's Head confirmed the opening of the pub's kitchen on a daily basis was no longer sustainable.

And although the community was thanked for supporting the pub, the landlady said 'there simply isn't enough money coming in to support it.'

She said: "I write this status with a very heavy heart and I hope everyone will understand my decision.

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly but one I feel I have to make. I have put my notice in with the brewery to end my tenancy in the pub.

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"With the constant cost of living prices rising I am no longer able to sustain keeping the pub open.

"I have put 110 percent into trying to keep the pub open and have a lovely family friendly pub for the community and without taking a wage the whole time for myself but I cannot do it anymore.

"There simply isn’t enough money coming in to support it.

"I have given six months notice but it could be sooner if the brewery finds other tenants to come in.

"I will be sure to keep everyone updated as to when I will be closing. With immediate effect the kitchen will now be closed through the week. Financially I cannot sustain keeping it open.

"With constant energy prices rising and electric bills of £800+ a month I simply need to cut costs somewhere."

Sunday lunches will still be served at the pub, with a reduced time of noon until 2pm.

I will still be doing the Sunday lunches with a reduced opening time. Lunches will now be served between 12pm and 2pm.

The statement continues: "I would just like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has supported my kids and me over the last nine months, you have all played your part in me managing to keep the doors open for these last 9 months.

"I only wish it could have been longer."

The Northern Echo approached the pub for comment.

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