Ipswich's best-known vegan pub and restaurant Hank's Dirty has been forced to announce its immediate closure after delays with a new investment.

The business also has a popular takeaway outlet at Beach Street in Felixstowe - and has been operating since 2019.

East Anglian Daily Times: Geoffrey Bligh and Phil Rivers at Hank's Dirty in St Helen's Street Ipswich.Geoffrey Bligh and Phil Rivers at Hank's Dirty in St Helen's Street Ipswich. (Image: Archant)

The business was started by Geoffrey Bligh and Phil Rivers in Lloyds Avenue selling vegan food and as a takeaway - and then took over the former Maplin store in Carr Street which it opened as a vegan supermarket.

In early 2020 it took over the former Grinning Rat pub in St Helen's Street which quickly became popular with its mixture of vegan food and real ale.

The shops later closed - but the pub proved popular and it expanded to take on a takeaway unit at Beach Street in Felixstowe.

It also opened cafes in Colchester - which was being refurbished - and at the Castle Mall in Norwich city centre.

But on Wednesday morning the company made a statement announcing its closure on Facebook. 

It said: "It is with great sadness that I have to write this post. Hank's was heading into a successful summer season with lots of plans on the go.

"A refurb in Colchester, live music in Ipswich, new technology in the business and even franchising.

"These exciting changes were funded by a new business investment that was to be brought into the business in early May.

"Unfortunately, after a small delay, the company facilitating this investment delayed the payment for three months at the very last moment.

"The shock of this decision had a huge impact on the business and a significant amount of money had already been spent on these new projects.

"We've spent the past few days doing everything we could to try and resolve the situation, but it has left the business in a bankrupt situation.

"Sadly, it has not been possible to find a way around what has happened.

"After five years, I've had to make the awful decision to stop trading.

"My sincere thoughts are with our incredible team who've played such an important part of the business, and who through no fault of their own, have found themselves out of work.

"And with our customers, who made Hank's such a wonderful place to work."

An outlet it operates in Cambridge in association with another business will remain open.