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solentinnA popular community pub in Ryde is set to change hands in the coming weeks following a difficult winter season, potentially closing for good.

Helen Fastnedge, who operates The Solent Inn in Monkton Street, Ryde, has been given just 4 weeks notice by the brewery ‘Punch’ to vacate the premises, leaving her and her family potentially homeless.

An affordable 12-week seasonal rate was granted to Helen to see the pub through the winter, however in these difficult times for all, Helen can simply not afford the full rent rate now plus the difference between the two as well as astronomical utility rates.

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Speaking to Island Echo this afternoon, Helen explained: “It is a difficult trade to be in. Times are very hard for everyone, especially on the Island.

In less than 4 weeks, Helen must leave The Solent Inn behind with new management set to come in, however it is still possible that the pub, which is the oldest dedicated pub on the Island and is grade II listed, will close its doors for good leaving the community of Monktonmead without their favourite, friendly local.

Helen continued by saying: “It’s the knock on effect of a closure on the community,  local suppliers and the number of bands who play here each week that is worrying. We are an unique community-spirited pub and carry out a lot of charity work.”

Punch have today said that they are looking to bring in new management to The Solent Inn, however no agreements have been confirmed.

4 members of dedicated staff have lost their jobs this week, 2 of them qualifying for redundancy.

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Local band XD are encouraging fans, locals and the Island’s population to visit The Solent Inn tomorrow night (Friday) for the band’s last gig at the popular music venue.

Helen would like to thank Ian from local business ‘Strings’ for his assistance through these difficult times and would like to also thank Sam and Susie at The King Pub, Ryde Esplanade for assisting in the supply of alcohol for tomorrow night’s event.

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