A COMMUNITY run pub in the New Forest has closed its doors for good after being unable to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wheel Inn, Pennington made the announcement on Monday, July 27 after months of discussion about the pub's future.

The pub, which has been run as a community pub since March 2018, was just beginning to get established when the pandemic hit, hindering all events planned for this year.

Chairman of The Wheel Inn, Philippa Blunt said: "We did claim government grants and furloughed staff but the inside of the pub makes it difficult to social distance. The turnover would be significantly reduced and we would need more staff and volunteers. We couldn't see how we would survive at all, so we made the difficult decision to close."

Disappointingly for staff, the pub was starting to build a good reputation and receive raving reviews from customers who loved the community atmosphere of the pub shortly before the pandemic took hold of the world.

Philippa added: "The messages we are receiving on Facebook have been amazing. It is a real shame. All we can hope for is that whoever does buy the pub realises what a great asset it is. We also hope that something similar replaces The Wheel."

The Wheel Inn requires a vacant possession, so staff and volunteers are holding daily closing down clearance sales to fundraise.

From July 29 to July 31, the public can visit the premises between 6pm to 8pm to peruse items including tables, kitchen equipment, chairs, glasses and more.

This can also be done on August 1 from 10.30am to 4pm.

A fair offer can be made on any item and the pub is only accepting cash or cheques.

If you are unable to make those times, email bowlingcroft14@btinternet.com to book an appointment.

Social distancing rules apply and face coverings must be worn.