A PUB that has been serving the people of Alcester and beyond for many years has been forced to close due to the financial pressures it was facing.

The Moat House Inn on Birmingham Road is a picturesque pub steeped in history, but ex-member of staff Jordan Goodby told the Advertiser that due to the tough times pubs are now faced with, and taking into account rising electric and gas prices and an increase in duty rates, it was no longer a viable business and with regret had to cease trading.

"I am fortunate enough to say we have all found new jobs and would like to thank the many customers for there appreciated custom and wish them all the best of luck in the future. We will miss all our great and loyal regulars, some of whom have grown into family," said Mr Goodby.

Sam Rath, chairman of Alcester Chamber of Commerce, added: "This is a difficult industry to be in and not helped by the situation that certain landlords find themselves in, particularly if they are tied to a specific lease.

"It's difficult to make a living as pub owners are charged quite high rents and can't make high enough margins to stay in the industry.

"It's a quintessentially English pub - you couldn't ask for a better place to go for a drink. I remember years back going in on a Sunday and not being able to find a place to sit but there has been a steady demise since then."