A PUB and bed and breakfast in Dorset has had to close “with immediate effect” - with surging costs being blamed for the decision. 

The Fontmell in Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, ceased trading on Tuesday, as it is revealed utility bills alone have increased by £58,000. 

Existing bookings for the bed and breakfast will be honoured. 

In a statement online, a spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart and great regret to say that The Fontmell will close with immediate effect other than to honour the bed and breakfast bookings that we already have. 

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“This is not a decision that has been made lightly and we would like to thank all our guests for their support and help over the last six and a half years. 

“Supplier prices have increased to such a point that we are no longer able to pass that cost onto our guests. 

“Our utilities alone have increased by an extra £58,000 per year. 

“Until further notice and subject to the above proviso as regards current bookings, the building will remain closed.” 

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Laura Barton, who had a table booked for Sunday lunch, said she was “disappointed” to learn of the pub’s closure.  

She added: “I think we can't even comprehend what we'll be facing in the future. We’ve had Martin Lewis warning us there is an iceberg coming towards us and now it is starting to happen.  

“It's a lovely pub and I think it is from what I could gather a successful pub in a fairly prosperous part of the country. For them to be closing in what should be a very busy weekend is quite concerning.”