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Landlords’ concerns at rising energy costs

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Landlords’ concerns at rising energy costs

PUBS, bars and inns in Annandale and Eskdale say they are so far managing the energy crisis.

Despite national reports of hospitality businesses facing up to 400 per cent rises in their electricity and gas, locally it’s still business as usual.

While a majority of the pubs in Annan, Gretna, Langholm and Eastriggs are aware of the rising prices, many are so far unaffected by huge price increases.

The manager of the Crown Hotel in Langholm said: “While we are very well aware of the rising energy bills, we haven’t felt much of it.

“We still have a good gas and electricity contract, and we recently opened a coffee shop in the hotel.

“It may be due to opening the hotel during the pandemic, but we’re accustomed to hardships. Langholm is its own little world, but given enough time the cost of living crisis will affect everyone in the end.”

At the Queen’s Head in Springfield, the manager says they are equally unaffected, but is keeping a close eye on the situation amid concerns for the future.

He said: “Just because we aren’t as affected at the moment doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.

“We use oil instead of gas, so we haven’t had too much of a problem with energy bills.

“We’re also on a contract for electricity, but when that runs out we may be in trouble.

“All in all, action needs to be taken. The repercussions could be catastrophic in the long run.”

Meanwhile, the opening hours are being changed at The Commercial Inn in Annan.

Manager John Steel said: “The rise in energy costs will most certainly see the closure of many small businesses.

“It has been very hard recovering from the covid lockdowns and this will most definitely be the final nail for many businesses.

“As of next week we will be cutting our hours to try and stay afloat as I’m sure many will be.

“This, yet again, is just another example of kick us while we’re down.”

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