THE landlord of a Worcester pub claims he has lost thousands of pounds after a spate of blackouts left the venue without power.

The Eagle Vaults pub has been left without electricity on nine occasions in the last two weeks, often for two hours at a time.

Nearby hairdressers Bennett and Taylor has also been hit by the power cuts.

"The first power cut was only for five minutes," said Paul Shenton, landlord of the Eagle Vaults.

"But the power surge when it came back on wrecked the hard drive on the computer and we lost three weeks' work.

"On the Saturday afternoon there was a power cut from 12.40pm until 2pm and I had to refund loads of people because we couldn't cook anything."

Mr Shenton predicts the power cuts, totalling 16 hours and 45 minutes, could have cost him thousands in lost trade.

"It isn't just people who were here whose custom we lost, people who may just walk past might think that we shut at 2pm on a Saturday when we don't," he added.

Nick Bennett, from Bennett and Taylor, predicted that the company had lost around £200 in takings.

"We can't use any of the electrical equipment in the shop and, last Saturday, we had to turn away quite a lot of customers," he said.

"But Aquila, the company which supply the electricity, said it can't do anything because there's a wire underneath the ground that has become wet and it will only be fixed when it dries out.

"I asked for some compensation but the company said 'no' because it was due to circumstances beyond its control."

A spokeswoman for Aquila Networks Services Ltd stressed that a team of investigators had attended the site yesterday morning and returned last night.

"We do realise this is a problem and apologise for the disruption caused," said the spokeswoman.

"We're keeping the situation closely monitored and we would obviously like to apologise for this inconvenience."