A POPULAR pub is set to close after being sold by a pub chain.

The Fox and Hounds on South Road, Prudhoe will close at the end of the month, after owner Punch Taverns sold the building – not as a going concern – to an unknown buyer.

Landlady Debbi Sullivan said she was disappointed to be leaving the business. Debbi is currently seven months pregnant and is struggling to find work for when the pub closes its doors.

She said: “The brewery told us in May last year that we were up for sale. They gave me the chance to buy it and I did put an offer in, but it wasn’t accepted.

“As a single parent of two at the time, funds weren’t easy to come across.

“Punch sold quite a few pubs at the time. They just went for the ones that brought in the least income. I had a good rent deal, so they didn’t get much from me.

“My regulars have been asking me where they’re going to go now. The staff are devastated and the money is a significant worry. I’m going to be left with the last bills and I can’t pay them off on maternity.”

The pub, which employs five members of staff, will be holding a farewell party on February 28.

In addition, the pub is currently raising money to send assistant manager Lisa Newbold to Zambia as part of her nursing degree.

A darts night last week raised almost £700 for Lisa’s campaign, and Debbi hopes a quiz night on February 23 will raise the rest of the money she needs.

She continued: “Lisa has been here since I took over, so we’re hoping the quiz can raise the rest of the money. Our quiz master Daniel Govens is doing his last quiz for the Fox and Hounds too.”

Punch Taverns was contacted for a comment.