The Fleece in Richmond, a popular pub whose closure shook the town earlier this summer, has now gone on sale. 

The property has gone on the market with an asking price of £1,750,000.

Owner Chris Miles took the "difficult decision" to close his business in late July after rising costs and staffing issues made it impossible to continue operating.

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 The bar and restaurant served its final punters on July 30 after serving the town as a popular watering hole and eatery since reopening after a 2018 renovation.

The Northern Echo: The Fleece

Now, the historic building is back on the market - and for a price of just under two million pounds, the buyer will get 13 en-suite letting bedrooms, as well as a popular bar and restaurant.

It was one of the first businesses in the town to shut shop in a spate of closures which came as a blow to the local economy.

About the property, Rightmove said: "The Fleece is a very well appointed and fully refurbished town centre hotel with an outstanding trading position in a thriving tourist town.

"The town is alive with locals and visitors alike and the Fleece is beautifully situated to take advantage, overlooking the lovely Friary gardens just off the town centre.

"Ideal for either an owner-operator or part of a small group, the hotel has been at the centre of the town for over 135 years and has recently undergone a transformation to bring the hotel back to its former glory."

Announcing the closure in July, Chris said the business had  “unrelenting chronic staffing issues and ever-increasing costs”, but he also stressed that The Fleece had not “gone bust”.

At the time he said: "Whilst I do not want to appear bitter (although I am a little, to be honest), it is imperative that our Government take action to provide much-needed support to businesses like The Fleece.

"We do not need a handout, but we must be able to keep more of the money that we generate. Since opening in May 2019, in addition to the increasing costs we have had to contend with, The Fleece has paid c£350k to HMRC in VAT and a further £100k in Employer National Insurance and Business Rates. 

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"That figure would have been higher has it not been for the temporary VAT reduction in 2020-22. 

"It is an enormous burden for a fifth of our income to be taken in VAT in addition to the other taxes we pay before any profit is made. We simply do not have the luxury of passing the 20 per cent VAT cost onto our customer and this decimates our profit margins.

"We need our Government to recognise this and help us - we don't want handouts, but we do need to be able to make profits."