Shock as company running some of East Lancashire's most popular gastropubs goes into administration

The multi-award winning company operating some of the most popular pub restaurants in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley has gone into administration.

The Seafood Pub Company, which operated the Forest at Fence, the Alma Inn at Laneshawbridge, the Assheton Arms in Downham and the Barley Mow in Barley, has ceased trading.

The Barrowford-based company, which also has gastropubs outside of East Lancashire, announced the shock news in a letter to staff at the weekend. It is thought the impact of the coronavirus lockdown has been a significant factor.

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Founded by Joycelyn Neve in 2010, the company's portfolio had won a clutch of awards and satsified customers in the years since.

The Assheton Arms in Downham, Clitheroe

In a letter to staff, praising them for their hardwork, commitment and friendship, Miss Neve said she was "truly heartbroken" but added she hoped to start a new company when she can.

She wrote: "It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to tell you that we have not been able to secure the funding needed for the business to survive.

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"As we were not granted a CBIL, a CBIL (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan) the next step was for us to try and raise fudning from the bank and our investors. Whilst both were supportive, the investor fundraise failed, as did my subsequent management buyout attempt.

"Without funding and no income since the forced closure, we have no choice other than for the business to go into Administration."