THE long-serving landlords at the King’s Head in Upton are planning to leave the business after 12 years, citing difficult economic conditions and the prohibitive expense of running the business.

Grahame and Claire Bunn have decided to leave the Waterside pub, which they lease from Enterprise Inns, to concentrate solely on their other town business, the Anchor, in High Street, which has been doing a good trade since they took over seven months ago.

Mr Bunn said it was not a decision they had taken lightly, especially as the town’s new flood defences – which he has championed since they were first proposed – have recently been completed. But he said: “The truth is that it just does not make any money. Taking over the Anchor has made us realise that we were just busy fools down here. It is just too expensive.”

Mr Bunn said rent and rates for the business cost close to £60,000 each year. “That is a lot of money before you even get started,” he said. “It is a shame but these things happen and perhaps it is time for a new pair of eyes to take over.” Mr Bunn also feels that Upton is still feeling the effects of the devastating summer floods in 2007.

“That really hurt this town and I personally don’t believe it has ever really recovered,” he said. “We have not had a really good, hot summer since and that is what this town needs. But the new flood defences are fantastic and I think lay the foundation for a better future.”

No one from Enterprise Inns was available to comment.