A PUB in Swanmore is at risk of closing if it continues to be hit with problems.

The Brickmakers pub, was forced to close for three days last week due to gas leaks in Church Road.

Despite reopening, on Friday (January 19) lunchtime the pub has continued to struggle with the ongoing roadworks to fix the issue, deterring customers.

Landlady Koren Blake, 52, fears that they won’t be able to get the compensation they need to cover loss of takings and staff’s wages, after an already crippling financial year.

Daily Echo: Landlady Koren Blake and husband GarethLandlady Koren Blake and husband Gareth (Image: Koren Blake)

Mrs Blake, who’s run the pub for nearly 12 years, said: “It’s been a nightmare. People don’t realise we’re open. The main pipe that leads into the houses and us in Church Road has really old clasps that hold them together and they corroded.

“The guys outside have all been really good but they won’t give me a number to contact someone so I can get compensation. We obviously didn’t take any money while we were closed but we also had a lot of stock that we had to dump and wages still need to be paid.

Daily Echo: Inside The BrickmakersInside The Brickmakers (Image: Koren Blake)

“Even though the pub is open now, people are being put off because they can’t park. We definitely haven’t taken in as much as usual and at the weekend too. The workmen are now saying it could go on for another two weeks.

“We’re just trying to hold on and stay open. If this carries on it’s really worrying. I’m having to borrow money all the time because we’re not taking money. It’s been a grim time. This is the last thing we need.

“We just want to speak to somebody so we can get some money back. Closure is a real risk. People think we’re always busy but food has gone up by 40 per cent, minimum wage has gone up and we’re paying all our staff more – it’s so difficult.

“This year has been a completely different ball game. The gas leak has been really stressful. This sort of thing can make or break a pub, we’re all struggling.

“People come in ask why the open fire isn’t on but it costs too much for the logs. All these little thing we take for granted to make it a welcoming environment – we don’t want to compromise on what we do or pass the increases down to the customer.”

Daily Echo: 'Open as usual''Open as usual' (Image: Koren Blake)

SEE ALSO: Emergency roadworks in place on major road near Winchester

Church Road has been closed between Lower Chase Road and New Road since Tuesday, January 24 but remains open for access while SGN replaces the pipe. Residents living close to the leak were evacuated from their homes and provided with hotel accommodation.

A message from SGN's Southern Repair Team was posted on Swanmore Parish Council's Facebook page. 

It said: “Due to multiple leaks/gas readings in buildings and properties, as a safety precaution we have evacuated properties in proximity to the leak location – we’ll also be closing the road between the entrance to the Brickmakers public house and the junction of Lower Chase. 

“Residents of properties evacuated are being looked after by the team on site. Temporary hotel accommodation has been sorted for those residents affected including support with shopping vouchers and food vouchers/just eat as required."