Popular West Sussex village pub and restaurant at risk of closure

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A popular pub and restaurant in a West Sussex village is at risk of closure.

A consultation is being held with staff at the Roundstone pub – in Roundstone Lane, East Preston.

This is being led by Whitbread PLC, which announced in April that it was cutting 1,500 jobs across the UK and shut 126 restaurants.

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Amid reports that the Roundstone would be closing in July, a Whitbread spokesperson told Sussex World that proposals ‘could impact this site’ in West Sussex but ‘they are subject to consultation’.

The Roundstone pub in East Preston is at risk of closure. Photo: Google Street ViewThe Roundstone pub in East Preston is at risk of closure. Photo: Google Street View
The Roundstone pub in East Preston is at risk of closure. Photo: Google Street View

The site remains open and is trading ‘as usual’.

The spokesperson added: “We recognise that this will be unsettling for our team members and we are providing them with dedicated support.

"We are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of our affected team members to stay with us by either transferring into new roles, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activity.”

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, began its consultation process on Tuesday, April 30 – promising to find alternative jobs for staff members affected.

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A Whitbread statement read: “Over the next 24 months we are planning to exit 126 branded restaurants; they will continue to operate as they do now so that they can be sold as going concerns.

"Of these restaurants, we have agreed to sell 21 for £28m. In FY24, these restaurants in aggregate generated revenue of £147m and a PBT loss of £9m. The proceeds from these disposals will be used to help fund our investment in building a more tailored, integrated restaurant at our affected hotels as well as the construction of new hotel rooms across the estate.”

It was confirmed last week that The Treacle Mine in Polegate, owned by Whitbread, will close on July 4.

Reports that the Roundstone will close on this date have not been confirmed.

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The West Sussex village pub has become well-loved locally for ‘serving good pub food’ in a ‘great family-friendly environment’.

Its website reads: “Interestingly, our restaurant got its name from a large millstone that once sat nearby that local legend says villagers used to trick visitors! Nowadays, The Roundstone is less about playing pranks and more about serving great-value family meals near Littlehampton’s top attractions.

“We are just a 25 minute walk from East Preston Beach, which is perfect for a stroll before a well-deserved meal! If that beach doesn’t tickle your fancy, we are less than a 10 minute drive from Kingston Beach and Ferring Beach. Plus, just a five minute drive, and you will find yourself at Highdown Hill & Gardens. With something for everyone, we are in the perfect location for a family day out.”

The Roundstone has a TripAdvisor rating of 3.5 (out of five) from more than 1,000 reviews, whilst it scores 3.7 on Google.

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