A POPULAR country pub in Powys has closed “with immediate effect” due to its skyrocketing energy bills.

The landlords of the Hundred House Inn in Hundred House, a small village just outside Builth Wells, say their electric bill has increased tenfold recently, making the popular roadside pub “impossible to run on any level”.

Steve and Desri Davidson, who have run the pub for the last three years and through a hugely difficult time already due to the Covid-19 crisis, took to Facebook earlier today to make the sad announcement.

“I’m very sorry to say we’ve had to close the pub with immediate effect,” Desri said in the post.

“Our electric bill has increased tenfold and has made the pub impossible to run on any level.

“We have not taken this decision lightly as we had staff and customers to think of. We thank all our customers for their support (locals and visitors).

“Last but not least I’d like to thank our superb staff for all their hard work during the last 3 years. Thank you. Desri & Steve.”

County Times:  The Hundred House Inn, near Builth Wells The Hundred House Inn, near Builth Wells

The lamentable news has been met with great sadness by the local community, as well as from punters from afar, with many devastated by the closure commenting on the post.

Julia Pitts said: “Oh no, that is so sad. This was a proper gem of a pub we found on our girl’s weekend away.

“We loved the food, atmosphere and staff. Such a shame but given the current climate, you have to do what is right for you.”

Gill Williams added: “We’re going to miss our trips to the pub and chats to Ellie and the other lovely staff. I wish the staff good luck for the future.”

The sudden news is a depressingly real indictment of the cost-of-living crisis which is already starting to bite businesses in Powys, as bills and living costs soar this winter.

A year ago it was re-introduced coronavirus rules that had the hospitality sector running scared, with the return of social distancing rules coming into effect over the 2021 festive period and putting a dampener on Christmas cheer. Twelve months on, it is energy costs running sky high that has people fearing for their livelihoods.

The reality of the problem for publicans was made clear last month when it was predicted that 7 out of 10 in the UK could close this winter unless they get government support. Sacha Lord, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association trade body, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “I think we are now entering probably the most critical week for my industry in my lifetime.

“My phone is red hot and people are just at the end of their tether. And we already know that probably seven out of 10 pubs won’t make the winter if this help doesn’t come.”