No room at the inn: George Hotel, Axminster, is closed

PUBLISHED: 06:39 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:41 15 June 2010

THE GEORGE Hotel in Axminster has fallen victim to the credit crunch.

THE GEORGE Hotel in Axminster has fallen victim to the credit crunch. The town centre hostelry is officially closed with the premises lying empty.A notice has been put up on the door saying it is closed due to "unforeseen circumstances". But pub owners Punch Taverns say they hope to find a new licensee shortly.A friend of the former licensee, Clive Harrison, said he was no longer running a viable business and could not afford to put more money into it.But chairman of the town's chamber of commerce Shane Morgan described him as a 'caretaker' who did not have plans to run the business long-term. He said: "I think he was more of a caretaker manager and didn't make a serious attempt to get the business up and running. "The pub has changed hands a couple of times since the Punch group bought it and remains shut up and closed at the moment."It's always desperately sad when a business closes. The George is in need of fresh impetus and, hopefully, somebody will take over soon."To have it open again would most definitely make a difference to the town. "It's an important building and we don't want to see it lying there derelict. The sooner it can be in new hands, the better."Mr Morgan said he was unable to say why the business failed, but believed it to be the effects of the economic climate.Police recently found unauthorised people on the property and are asking residents to be vigilant.A spokesperson for Punch Taverns said: "Our priority is to re-open The George Hotel as soon as possible."We are in the process of recruiting a new licensee to run this pub for us.

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