QUESTIONS are being asked by concerned Rainbow Hill residents about the future of a popular city pub after its landlord left this week.

The Goodrest Tavern, in Barker Street, was taken over by New River Retail four years ago as part of a deal to buy more than 200 previously Marston's-owned pubs.

The property investor has worked in partnership with Co-operative supermarkets at other pub sites nationally.

In 2015, after applying for planning permission, Worcester City Council's planning committee gave the green light to a £1 million Co-op being built on the pub car park.

The pub, which is more than 70 years old, lost some of the parking spaces for the supermarket in the hope it will attract people to area, and boost business for the Goodrest Tavern as a result.

At the time Ruth Child spoke on behalf of New River Retail, saying the supermarket "would help the pub survive".

On Tuesday landlord of five years, Bill Salmon, left to run another pub for Marston's brewery in Oxford.

Mr Salmon said: "We were offered a contract but Marston's did not want to lose me.

"It is a fantastic pub to live and work so it was a very difficult personal decision to leave - but a very easy business one.

"My gut feeling is telling me if its to be a pub going forward it will be in a very different format.

"It would be sad to see it go."

Paul McFarlane, a Rainbow Hill resident and regular at the pub said fears were growing as construction work is now half way complete on the new supermarket.

Mr McFarlane said “Everybody is fearing for its future.

“There has been no communication with the new brewery and the customers of ‘the Goody’.

“It is a lovely old-fashioned place, a long established community pub.

“I am regularly in there, I was drinking in there on Tuesday and was speaking to people about it - they are worried.

"We need assurances - it is the only pub on the estate."

Mr McFarlane added if the pub was ever in danger of imminent closure he had no doubts the community would rally behind a campaign to save it.

The Worcester News contacted New River Retail, but received no response before going to press.