A gastropub near Stannington has been closed with immediate effect.
The shock announcement from the owners of St Mary’s Inn highlighted the impact of what they believe is a lack of progress with the St Mary’s Park development.
There were high hopes for the establishment, which became part of the Jesmond Dene House family when it opened in 2014.
A statement to announce the closure included the following: ‘This decision has been taken very reluctantly and with particular concern for the loss of amenity the local community will suffer.
‘Everyone involved in St Mary’s Inn would like to express their gratitude for the patronage of people living locally both in St Mary’s Park and the adjacent areas.
‘The owners would also like to thank the staff, all of whom have shown great commitment and enthusiasm. There will inevitably be adverse effects on people employed in the business in a situation such as this, but the company will look to support those affected wherever practicable.
‘When St Mary’s Inn opened in late 2014, it was expected that the construction work taking place around the property would progress steadily and in a timely fashion towards completion.
‘It was also expected that the infrastructure necessary to create a community at St Mary’s Park, including community centre and sports facilities, would be completed soon after the Inn opened, giving the pub the opportunity to flourish in the growing environment around it.
‘Unfortunately, progress has not been as great as anticipated by everyone involved in the project.
‘Even more concerning is that construction work is likely to have an additional impact over the next 24 months as it comes much closer to the property and for many weeks will be immediately adjacent – with unavoidable disruption.
‘We will revisit this decision from time to time and it is our ambition to re-open when the surrounding construction work is substantially complete.
‘We remain confident that the business can prosper when conditions at St Mary’s are more favourable than they are right now or in the immediate future.’