The devastated co-owner of a popular Pendle business has shared how extortionate rent coupled with increased competition has led to its closure.
Faz Hussain opened Massala Room, in Skipton Old Road, Foulridge, with six friends a decade ago.
Until Monday, he was running the Indian restaurant with Mosh Ullah and Anfor Ali, and employed around 12 staff members from the local area.
But with rent having increased from £25,000 initally to £42,000 per year, and with more businesses opening up, Mr Hussain said it became “harder and harder” to keep the 110-seat venue going.
The father of Safiya (10) and Maria (7), who lives in Merton Street, Burnley, said: “We’ve made a name for ourselves - we had a good reputation, the customers loved us, and we loved them back.
“We have put our hearts and souls into this, and have sweated blood to build our business up.
“The staff have bonded as a family, and the customers have accepted us in the village.
“The business was set up when my daughter was born - it was a way of securing her future and putting her through education, Things like this crumble your world.”
Mr Hussain added his thanks to the customers who have supported the business over the years, and shared his upset at no longer being able to host family and charity events.
The 36-year-old, who said that “plans are in the pipeline” to open another business in the area, added: “We would like to say a big thank you to our customers for supporting us. We are lost for words at the moment, and are devastated.”
News of Massala Room’s closure was published on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Tuesday morning, sparking upset from the local community.
The management team’s post said: “We apologise to you all that we will no longer be able to provide the Massala Room experience. We thank you for your support and please forgive the management team for causing any inconvenience.”
Responding, one user wrote “No way absolutely devastated for you guys”, while another said “So sorry to hear that news, will miss you guys”.