A POPULAR pub has closed temporarily after the landlord revealed he would have to leave less than a year after taking over.

The Market Hotel, in Brackley Street, Farnworth, has become a popular venue since Harrison Clayton’s Change Hospitality launched in October 2018.

However, he announced the pub would be suddenly closing, with yesterday its last day of operations.

A new tenant is thought to be taking over the business in the coming days.

Mr Clayton said: “We really turned a corner with the site and created a fantastic community local for the residents of Farnworth. Due to difficulties with New River Retail (Hawthorn Leisure) we have been unable to work on a mutual agreement moving forward which has ultimately meant that we have had to take the difficult commercial decision to vacate the site.

“We are pleased that New River have secured a new tenant and its believed that they will be open within a few days of taking over. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to the new operator and I’ll fully support their efforts moving forward.”

The Market is expected to reopen early next week.Mr Clayton also spoke about the future of the pub’s current staff who are expected to have their contracts transferred to the new owner.

He added: “Whilst it is a very sad time for the business, our priority has been ensuring that the valued teams employment is secured and protected moving forward and our layers are working hard to ensure that the transfer of employment under Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE) is done without complications. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team from the bottom of my heart for their dedication, hard work and commitment during their time at the pub.”

A spokesman for Hawthorn Leisure, which operates New River’s pub businesses, said: “We have recruited a new partner to take over the running of the Market Hotel. Creative Leisure (NW) Ltd have worked with us for a number of years, and they have a great track record of running successful community pubs in the North West. The Market Hotel will be closed for a few days while we carry out some minor refurbishments, and Regulars can look forward to the pub re-opening its doors early next week.”