Landlady forced to close pub after energy bills more than double to £112,000 a year

Miranda Richardson was charged £7,724 for petrol this quarter, prompting her to leave the Northamptonshire venue

Miranda Richardson says she has no choice but to close her pub
Miranda Richardson says she has no choice but to close her pub

A devastated landlady whose energy bills have more than doubled to £112,000 a year has been forced to close her village pub.

Miranda Richardson has been running The Live and Let Live pub in the picturesque Northamptonshire village of Harpole for four years.

However, the 48-year-old was left with no choice but to quit the business as energy bills skyrocketed from around £48,000 to £112,000 a year.

Miranda shared a photo on Twitter of her latest quarterly gas bill, which came in at a staggering £7,724.57; The tweet was viewed and shared more than 800,000 times.

She tweeted: “Have a laugh when people ask why I’m closing up my pub The Village Goldmine. Well dear, this quarterly gas bill should answer that question.”

Miranda says not enough is being done to support the pub industry

Miranda revealed the astronomical bill had nearly doubled, meaning she would pay around £30,000 this year on petrol alone.

She said: “To break even I would need to sell about 1,400 pints of lager a week. On average we sell 400 to 500 pints a week and then we’re busy.

“If I’m being honest, I’m all about functioning at the moment. I love doing what I do, but I can’t keep it up.

“I’ve been working as hard as I can. I’ll keep going until I close the door. I get upset about it and I get sad, but I didn’t do it, it’s not my fault and it’s the only way I can deal with it.”

Electricity bills have skyrocketed at the Northamptonshire venue

Miranda, who employs six bar and wait staff as well as a full-time chef, said it was costing her £5,000 a week “just to open the doors”.

She added: “In January the cost to open was around £2,700 a week and by March it had risen to £3,800.

“It’s not sustainable and certainly won’t be if another surge in energy bills starts in October.

“I’m in a wonderful village, but it’s a village pub and I’m hidden.

“We’re not dealing with saying to people, ‘Oh, come out and use it,’ that’s not the situation now, because people are dealing with their problems, their own energy problems at home.

“If people have come out maybe three or four times already, that’s not happening now and I totally understand why.”

In a stark illustration of how devastating the energy crisis has become, Miranda’s gas bill between February and April last year was £1,500 – £6,200 less than the same period this year.

Miranda, who is married to husband Guy, 51, with whom she has two adult children and a granddaughter, will close the pub on July 21.

She has been inundated with support since she tweeted the closure of the Stonegate Group-owned pub on Monday.

She said: “The tweet went out to many churches and the general sentiment is, ‘Christ, this is what small businesses face.’

“In the domestic world there are energy caps. We have no caps in business, my bills will just keep going up.

“There are hundreds of people in the same position as me across the country, all of them slowly declining


The pub’s energy costs increased from around £48,000 to £112,000 a year

“People who run very successful companies will be bankrupt by the end of the year. Thats really sad.

“The pub industry has just been hammered for the last three years, every step we take is hammered.

“The bigger chains will survive, but the smaller community chains won’t be able to break through.

“Without local pubs, communities cannot come together.

“I don’t think enough is being done or said about these big fuel companies making big profits left, right and center. I think that’s the shocking thing.

“And why aren’t companies much more encouraged to use solar energy?

“Why don’t we get the tools and means to be more sustainable?”

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Fry Electronics Team

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