The owner of a café that was on the brink of closure earlier this year warns that although his business is now safe others are in “real trouble”.

Brendan Gray, owner of Station Bistro in Wymondham, said that local firms are facing a “lack of help from the government” despite continuing to struggle with rising costs.

Mr Gray, whose café was named the best in Norfolk last year, was nearly forced to close when his own energy bills rose from £2,200 a month in August 2022 to £4,500 at the end of the year. 

After local interest in his situation, his energy supplier relented and allowed him out of the contract.

Now, five months later, he says the business is “safe, but still a struggle” as food prices remain high, but that local customers were keeping them afloat.

He said: “The hospitality industry is really struggling because prices are still wildly out of control.

“It’s difficult because you don’t want to pass on too much of that to your customers, so the business ends up swallowing it instead.

“We’re one of the lucky ones because we have got community support and don’t struggle to get bums on seats.

“People really like the quirky building and we’re in a great location in Wymondham.

“But other businesses are in real trouble. It’s ludicrous the lack of help from the government now they’ve cut the support scheme.”

Looking forward, Mr Gray said he believes prices will eventually stabilise, allowing him to work on the garden area of the café and introduce barbeque nights.

He said: “At the moment everything is about survival, but in the future when inflation is back under control, hopefully we can come out of this cost-of-living crisis we’re in now and people will have money to spend again.