Thirty-three pubs in County Durham and Darlington could face closure after their owner Stonegate issued a profit warning.

Unions have warned company Stonegate’s 157 venues in the region could be at risk after it said there was no guarantee it could continue as it struggles to refinance a £2.2bn debt.

Stonegate is behind national brands including Slug & Lettuce with a site in Durham, and countless local watering holes including the Library in Durham, and Golden Cock in Darlington.

The firm is based in the Cayman Islands and is owned by private equity firm TDR Capital, which also owns brands including Asda.

Nadine Houghton of the GMB union said: “TDR bosses are private equity gamblers - playing fast and loose with people’s jobs and lives.

“When their risky ventures go wrong, they swan off to their next project, leaving workers and communities to pick up the pieces.

“Now, hundreds of much-loved pubs across the North East are in serious danger of pulling their last pint.

“It’s a disgrace.”

Local pubs across the region could be at risk of closing if Stonegate fails to secure funding.

The GMB has written to Liam Byrne MP, chair of the Business and Trade Committee in parliament, asking him to summon TDR bosses before the committee.

Appearing before that committee in January TDR COO Blair Thompson said: “We are in the process now of taking appropriate actions to extend the debt load on that business.

“It is important to bear in mind that this is a business that has grown significantly since it was formed 10, or 13 years ago, when we first put it together.

“But it would be unfair of us to ignore the fact that for the thick end of 18 months, that business was closed completely. So, during covid, hospitality businesses like Stonegate were completely closed, and as a result, that had negative effects on the cash flows and profitability of that business, which we are now taking active steps to remedy and mitigate.”

But as that is yet to happen Stonegate said earlier this month: “Since the refinancing plans haven’t been executed, there is an indication that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the company and group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

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The firm is yet to agree on new loans to replace debt due to be repaid in June 2025. Talks with potential lenders are underway, The Guardian reports.

See the full list of Stonegate venues in County Durham and Darlington here:


  • Golden Cock, Tubwell Row, Darlington
  • Old English Gentleman, Bondgate, Darlington
  • Darlington Flyer, Skinnergate, Darlington
  • Baydale Beck, Low Coniscliffe, Darlington
  • Emerson Arms, Church Row, Darlington
  • Havelock Arms, Middleton St. George, Darlington
  • Railway Tavern, Northgate, Darlington


County Durham:

  • Market Tavern, Chester-le-Steet
  • Black Horse Inn, Chester-le-Street
  • The High Crown, Chester-le-Street
  • Wheatsheaf Inn, Chester-le-Street
  • Shepherd and Shepherdess, Beamish, Stanley
  • The Black Horse, Consett
  • Miners Arms, Consett
  • New Board Top, Esh Winning, County Durham
  • Stonebridge Inn, County Durham
  • Coach & Horses, Croxdale
  • The Three Bridges, North Road, Durham
  • The Fighting Cocks, South Street, Durham
  • The Queens Head, Front Street, Durham
  • Half Moon, Easington, County Durham
  • The Greyhound, Ferryhill, County Durham
  • Black Bull, Trimdon Station, County Durham
  • Iron Horse, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Huntsman, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • The Library, Saddler Street, Durham
  • Rose Tree, Shincliffe, Durham
  • Seven Stars, Shincliffe, Durham
  • Slug & Lettuce, Durham Walkergate