Buxton landlord calls time on pub after 10 years in charge

Jason Waplington
Jason Waplington

The landlord of a Buxton pub is “devastated” to be calling time on his tenure - but said he has been left with no choice.

Jason Waplington has served customers at The Milton’s Head for more than a decade, but next month he will be making the move to The Swan in Higher Buxton.

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The 48-year-old said he had been struggling to pay high rent and beer prices: “I’m devastated it has come to this, but I don’t see what else I can do.”

And Jason has now been told by Star Bars and Pubs, which is owned by Heineken, that he must pay £6,800 in dilapidation costs.

“It’s nonsense,” he said. “I have poured thousands of pounds into the pub, I have decorated throughout, put down new flooring and paid for new tables and chairs.

“I am being held to ransom for money I don’t have, for damages which aren’t there.

“And even if I do decorate the place up again, Heineken are only going to paint over it for when the new owner comes in, so why should I bother?

“I have been struggling for months to pay the high rent costs and beer prices and as my lease is up in December I decided it was time for a change.”

Jason said he was paying £400 per week in rent and £290 per barrel of Carling, but that only when he announced his departure was he offered cheaper rent and barrels.

“It’s just too little too late and very sad that I have been forced out of a pub I love because of money,” he added.

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A spokesperson for Stars Bars and Pubs said: “At the end of this lease we offered him a new lease on better terms or a temporary agreement, both of which he declined.

“Having handed in his notice, an independent dilapidation survey was completed.

“The licensee signed that he was in agreement with all of the findings.

“He has the option to put right the repairs himself or pay what it would cost us to do so should he prefer. We have also agreed to buy his F&F and reimburse his bond.

“On his departure, we will install a temporary manager until a suitable person is found to take on the lease.”