Administrators for South East pub group Whiting & Hammond haven’t given up hope of rescuing more of the company’s sites after securing the sale of three premises.
Whiting & Hammond operates pubs in Sussex, Surrey and Kent but entered administration at the end of last month.
A spokesperson from administrators Turpin Barker Armstrong told the Eastbourne Herald: “The joint administrators have successfully achieved the sale of three sites and are exploring whether there can be any rescue of other sites.
“Like many businesses in the sector, the company has hugely suffered from the impact of the pandemic. The venues have significant levels of fixed costs which make them unviable at the customer capacity possible under Covid-19 restrictions.
“In this case the company has been unable to re-open four sites. With no end to the pandemic in sight, this course of action is the best option for rescuing elements of the business and dealing with the affairs of the company in an orderly manner.”
Managing director Brian Whiting told the paper that it was clear from the restrictions back in July that it would not be possible for it to open all of its pubs so it picked the four which it believed would survive under the new Covid regulations, hoping to make enough money to open the remaining sites.
“Sadly, not for the lack of trying and the continuing added Covid restrictions like the 10pm curfew this has not been possible. Unfortunately on September 30 we called in the administrators.
“I am pleased to report that we have rescued three of the sites from administration under the new name of WH Pubs and have saved 150 jobs. We are clearly worried moving forward with curfews and Covid restrictions which have clearly affected all in hospitality but the teams in these pubs are working around the clock to make them successful and safe.”
Mr Whiting said it had broken his heart to see four of the pubs that it has built up over the last 18 years disappear.
He expressed his thanks to all of its “loyal customers, fantastic suppliers and most of all the staff” for their support over the years.