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Lathe Barn closed as owners say Burmarsh attraction shutting is 'great regret'

By Matt Leclere

The sudden closure of a popular family attraction has come as a shock to thousands of visitors.

Owners of the Lathe Barn children's farm and tearooms announced yesterday they were shutting the gates just months after taking over.

The venue in Burmarsh, on Romney Marsh, reopened in April and will be shut for the foreseeable future.

New owners Martin and Tracy Dunne said the closure was due to "unforeseen circumstances"
New owners Martin and Tracy Dunne said the closure was due to "unforeseen circumstances"

In a statement, couple Martin and Tracy Dunne, said it was with "great regret" they had made the decision and "due to unforeseen circumstances".

The confirmation of the closure came at 5pm yesterday after rumours had circulated throughout the day.

Mr and Mrs Dunne, who are originally from Essex, said the venue will be closed "until further notice".

They added: "We thank all our customers and staff for their support during our time at Lathe Barn.

"Unclaimed prizes, lost property and deposits can be collected by calling 01303 873618.

"Pass refunds will be calculated and honoured on usage over the season based on daily rates.

"Further updates will be posted in due course."

Lathe Barn in Donkey Street reopened on Tuesday, April 4 after Mr and Mrs Dunne bought the 6.24-acre site which had been up for sale for several months.

Previous owners Diana and Denis Wimble had owned the business for 16 years but decided to take a step back and spend more time with their family.

It is understood the farm was sold for around £900,000.

Speaking in March after completing the purchase, Mr Dunne said: "We came down here and we really liked it. It’s tranquil, so we made contact.

"This is a nice area and it is everything we were after.

"We fell in love with it and it was easy to come to an agreement and an easy decision to make. We are looking forward to welcoming people to the barn."

The premises consist of an established tea room with accommodation above, three retail units, a gift shop and a granary office.

The tea room, a single retail unit and the gift shop are all operated in-house, with the rest let out.

There is also a children’s play barn, an outside play area, a play farm, a mini-putting golf course and a pedal go-kart area.

There is land to the rear of the tea rooms, along with car and coach parking.

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