AN AWARD-winning Isle of Wight pub has closed its doors temporarily.

New Inn, Shalfleet, publicans Kate and Dan, who do not wish to give their full names, have said they are heartbroken at their decision.

They took over the business in January 2017, but Kate said: "It's a very difficult time.

"We have, unfortunately and to our great sadness had no choice but to close the doors for now.

"It was certainly not a decision that was taken lightly or with other options available to us and we are utterly heartbroken that the plans and dreams we had for the pub and our future with it have come to this.

"The difficulties of the industry and the financial struggles of the landlords, particularly of leasehold, tied tenancy pubs belonging to large companies are sadly all too familiar to the Island community and unfortunately we were not immune.

"We want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our customers and supporters, particularly our wonderful locals who have been so kind to us and many of whom have become friends.

"We cannot comment on when the pub will be reopened as that is now in the hands of Enterprise Inns, but we sincerely hope that the pub will reopen soon."

A spokesperson from Ei Publican Partnerships said: “We are currently in contact with the publican at the New Inn, Shalfleet, and would like to reassure the local community that we aim to reopen the pub as soon as possible.”