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The George and Dragon pub in Marlow at risk of closure

The hospitality company Whitbread, which operates The George and Dragon pub on The Causeway and its adjoining Premier Inn, announced proposals to close 126 restaurants across the UK in April.

The plans, which remain subject to consultation, would mean the closure of "lower-returning" venues and, in some cases, integration into nearby Premier Inn facilities and would result in the loss of 1,500 jobs.

A spokesperson for Whitbread has confirmed that The George and Dragon is among the pubs under the Whitbread Inns brand that are at risk of closure.

They said: "We have announced proposals which could impact this site, but it is currently open and trading as usual.

“We recognise that this will be unsettling for our team members, and we are providing them with dedicated support. We are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of our affected team members to stay with us by either transferring into new roles or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through existing recruitment activity.”

It comes after Sumukh Kondaskar, General Manager at The George and Dragon, said the business has yet to recover from the impact on profits of having to remove all its outdoor furniture after Buckinghamshire Council issued a penalty notice for encroaching onto a public highway.

Speaking on Thursday, May 9, Mr Kondaskar said: “We have applied for a table and chairs licence and they’re going to let us know when it goes through. But it’s pretty much killed our business. They should have told us six months in advance – the problem was how sudden it was.

“I’ve been working here for eight-and-a-half years, and normally at this time of year, the outside area would be full.”

Mark Winn, Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services at Bucks Council said: “We know many businesses benefit from additional seating space outside their premises and where it is safe to do so, the council is fully supportive.

“(However), the council will investigate complaints made regarding street furniture blocking safe public access and any business repeatedly found to be in breach of the conditions of their licence risks having their licence revoked.”

Speaking in April, Dominic Paul, Chief Executive Officer for Whitbread, said the new measures would create 3,500 new hotel rooms and meet "strong demand" from around the country.

He added: "This plan is a further positive step, delivering a better experience for our hotel guests and helping to extend our market leadership in the UK."