A RYEDALE pub has closed on what the manager described as “a sad day”.

The Spotted Cow in in Spital Street, Malton, is owned by the Fitzwilliam Estate, with the lease was being held by the Punch Taverns group. This lease expired on Thursday and is not being renewed.

Manager Rory Queen, who also runs the Chapter Two Bar in Malton’s Market Place, said that he and his team took over the pub in August last year, and worked to rejuvenate the Grade-II listed pub.

“My team of hard-working staff and loyal customers have worked tirelessly to bring this much-loved community pub back to life”, he said. “We were achieving this.”

He described the day the pub closed last week as “traumatic” and said: “We had to make some staff redundant.

“I would stress that the turnaround of the pub is down to my staff. It was a sad day. “The town deserves better and we wanted to put the pub back the way it should be.

“Much essential work is needed to secure the property. Until the vital work is agreed and completed the Spotted Cow will remain closed.”

Mr Queen said that the Estate had been “brilliant” during discussion about the pub’s future and added: “Rest assured, once the Spotted Cow work is completed we will look into the possibility of negotiating a new lease with the landlord.”

A spokesman from Punch Taverns said: “The Spotted Cow, Malton, has been a part of the Punch estate since 2003. While Punch do not own the freehold we have held the pub on a long lease agreement from the landlord.

“We can confirm that our lease is coming to an end and is not being renewed. At this point the Spotted Cow will return to the freehold landlord who will be responsible for any future decisions relating to the property.”

Roddy Bushell, Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, said: “The Spotted Cow, one of Malton’s best known pubs, has been on a lease to Punch Taverns and their predecessors since 1988. After 30 years the venerable old listed building needs more repair and renewal than could be done while keeping the doors open for business.

“That work will be completed and the property will be back on the market seeking someone who will re-establish the Spotted Cow as one of Malton’s favourite pubs.”