A LANDLORD is urging people to support their local pubs, or face losing them.

Mike Hansom, who has run the Cross Keys in Malton with his wife Helen for two years, said they would be leaving the pub at the end of the month to spend more time with their two young children.

He said: “After many months of deliberation, we have come to the decision that this month we will sadly be leaving The Cross Keys.

“Growing and running a pub is a massive challenge for anyone, and doing this while raising a young family has become especially hard for us over the last year.

“Unfortunately, the time has now come for us to take a step back and find a better family life balance for our two little people, Ella and Oliver.”

Mike added: “It has been a difficult decision for us, letting go of something which we have put our heart, soul, and many, many hours of hard work in.

“But we feel incredibly proud to have had such a fantastic two years growing this business and turning The Cross Keys from a blank canvas to a thriving pub full of simply wonderful staff and customers.”

Mike said at times he had been working more than 100 hours a week.

“If trade had been brisker we would have been able to take on a chef which would have given me more time off, but as it is people are choosing to stay in or are going out later,” he said.

“People need to realise that if they don’t use the pubs in town they will lose them.”

Last month the Royal Oak pub in Malton shut its doors and Harrisons Bar and Grill, also in the Market Place remains closed.

Mike said: “Small businesses desperately need support and we would urge people to continue to support the wonderful local businesses we have in Malton, every visit really does help.

“We would also like to give a special mention to our simply amazing team, past and present.

“Each and every one of our staff members have helped to make The Cross Keys what it is today and we feel so lucky to have found the team that we did, to make the pub what we wanted it to be.”

Mike said they would be trading until Sunday, February 23.

“Following this, we are hopeful that the pub will reopen with new ownership in the near future,” he said.

“We would love to see all of our customers between now and Sunday, and will look forward to joining you on the other side of the bar in the future.”

Mike said they would be returning to their home town of Beverley.

“We have loved living here, Malton is such a lovely town,” he said. “We feel sure that we will keep in touch with many friends we have made along the way.

“Thank you everyone and cheers to the future of a wonderful pub