Wolds Village closes tearoom, shop and gallery

If the government doesn’t step in to help, it will be the end of high street.

That is the view of Sally Brealey who owns Wolds Village at Bainton.

Sally, alongside husband Chris, has owned the business 27 years but the couple had to make the decision to downsize due to crippling energy costs.

The whole nation is just being screwed over and if the government doesn’t step in to help, it will be the end of the high street.

Sally Brealey

Wolds Village comprises a restaurant, tea rooms, art gallery, gift shop and guest house complex on a Georgian farmstead, however from Saturday, 24th September, it will trade as just a guest house.

Pre-COVID, Sally and Chris served 200 Sunday lunches a week as they led a thriving enterprise.

When the pandemic hit, Wolds Village received little governmental support initially, adapting to operate with a home delivery service in a bid to stay afloat.

In October 2021, it welcomed indoor diners for the first time in more than 18 months, however its staff numbers had been reduced from nearly 40 to just five full-time employees.

On Tuesday 13th September, Wolds Village announced via its social media that the tearoom, shop and gallery will all close, leaving just the seven-room B&B with restaurant.

Sally told the Wolds Weekly: “This has been a hard decision to make, but one we have been contemplating since spring.

“Our costs are hugely increasing; we’re paying double on electric compared to this time last year.

“A few years ago, we went green by installing solar and biomass facilities, but now biomass is four times as expensive as it was, even more than oil.

“We did all we could to survive COVID, adapting in many ways, but the current situation is just crippling.

“Unfortunately, we’re having to make redundancies, as we did during COVID, when we had nearly 40 staff.

“The whole nation is just being screwed over and if the government doesn’t step in to help, it will be the end of the high street.

“You look at how well Driffield recovered post-COVID, but all of that is being taken away.

“We source all of our products from local businesses, such as Rafters and Primepak Foods, so they are going to suffer from our loss of trade too.

“When we were serving 200 Sunday lunches every weekend, we were spending almost £1,000 a week with Rafters. All of that has gone now.”

The B&B and restaurant which will remain in operation at Wolds Village will be run solely by Sally and Chris, serving breakfast and dinner.

Since revealing their bad news, Sally said that she has been left humbled by the amount of support she and Chris have received.

When the Wolds Weekly visited Wolds Village last Friday, guests were queuing up waiting for it to open, with the car park almost full shortly after opening, demonstrating its popularity.

However, Sally admitted that the business may struggle to survive the winter.

“After announcing we were shutting down part of our business, the number of messages of support we have received has been very humbling,” she added.

“So many have got in touch just to say how much they loved coming to Wolds Village and hope that we can return to what we were one day.

“That is nice to hear and proves that we aren’t having to close half of our business due to a lack of customers.

“People want to come in and enjoy what we have to offer, but we can’t charge people £10 for a coffee or take a loss on it either.

“We simply cannot afford to heat what is a big, old building throughout the winter and there’s a good chance we could close in March.”

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