THE Bullnose Morris pub on Watlington Road, Blackbird Leys will not reopen, The Oxford Mail has been told.

The closure has been confirmed after Greene King, which owns the Blackbird Leys venue, announced it would be keeping 79 sites temporarily closed nationwide, with a third of these venues closing permanently.

The Bullnose Morris is one of the permanent closures the pub chain will be making across the country.

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A spokesman for Greene King said: “It’s always a difficult decision to close a pub and we’re working with our teams locally to try and find them a role in another of our sites.

“We would like to thank all our customers of Bullnose Morris who have visited us over the years.”

Whilst Greene King confirmed to The Oxford Mail the pub venue would close, they said it had not been sold.

The pub was initially opened by Morrell’s Brewing Company in 1969 and named after the famous Bullnose Morris car that was first built in Oxford.

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Neil Hewitt, from Cowley, said the closure of the pub was a ‘loss to the community.

He added: “It is the only family pub on the estate, and Blackbird Leys is one of the biggest estates in Europe, and it is the only pub that serves families.

“The only other pub is The Blackbird and that’s a male-dominated drinking hole where the footballers go.

“It was a Hungry Horse pub and we used to go there regularly for Sunday lunch.

“The prices are good; they are good for working-class people. It is a cracking deal, I used to take my son.

"The only other Hungry Horse pubs nearby are the White Horse in Headington or The Tandem in Kennington, so if you do not have a car you are stuffed really.

“The fact is they knew about the closure weeks ago and if staff do not have a car it will be hard for them to work at The Tandem or White Horse.”

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Roger Bellinger, 58, from Balfour Road, said: “Obviously, everyone is upset. It is the local pub that almost everyone in Blackbird Leys uses.

“We’ve been trying to figure out why it’s been closed for so long and now we know it is because it’s closing for good.

“We have The Blackbird, but The Bullnose was great for family meals and for listening to live music.

“My uncle used to use it, and he’s been dead for quite a few years now.

“My wife was born in Blackbird Leys and remembers going up there when she was young.

“It is just a shame they did not try to sell it before lockdown.

“I know it could be prime land for building and we need houses in Blackbird Leys, but we also need facilities to be able to go out, have a beer or two and have a meal at a reasonable price.”

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Greene King said they will not be publishing a list of the pubs impacted by the closures.

They did confirm, however, that the pubs that are reopened and trading currently will not be affected by the shutdown.

The closures will only affect those venues that were yet to reopen after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The only other Greene King pub in Oxfordshire that still remains closed is The Bell in Crowmash, near Wallingford.

It is unknown whether this pub will be reopening.

The pub chain giant has said the new Coronavirus restrictions, including the 10 pm curfew and the furlough scheme winding down, have created a ‘challenge’ to trading.

The chain has also urged the government to do more to help the struggling hospitality sector.

Nationwide Greene King will be cutting 800 jobs.