A HIGHBRIDGE function venue is to close, following a tough year of business amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Oaktree, which is located at Edithmead, is currently owned by the Hancock family, but they have made the decision to sell up after 13 years.

While new owners have been found, they are in a different business sector to that of hospitality.

Until being forced to close in March 2020, the venue catered for weddings, parties, business conferences, funerals and other events.

But with large events still some time away under the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, it has become increasingly challenging for the family business to continue.

As a result of the change of ownership, event organisers with functions booked in the Oaktree diary for the remainder of 2021 are to be contacted by email, with deposits to be refunded in the next seven days.

The Oaktree is also home to the Somerset Rebels speedway team, but the speedway track - as well as the farm and other businesses on the site - will not be affected by the change in ownership.

Back in January the Rebels announced that the club - of which the Hancock family are promoters - would not take part in the 2021 racing season, due to the uncertainty over the return of sporting events after lockdown.