Wetherspoons plans £200m investment in Britain, Ireland

Company said it will invest in Dublin and Waterford as it pours money into expansion

Chairman of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Photograph:   Ben Stansal/AFP/Getty Images

Chairman of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Photograph: Ben Stansal/AFP/Getty Images

 

Wetherspoons will invest more than £200 million (€237 million) in pubs and hotels over the next four years, creating around 10,000 jobs, the company has announced.

New pubs and hotels will be opened, including plans to invest in Dublin and Waterford, and existing pubs across Britain and Ireland will be enlarged.

The company is currently investing about €20 million on its newest property in the Republic, an 89-bedroom hotel on Dublin’s Camden Street with a pub. It is also investing €2.5 million on a Galway pub, formerly known as Carbon, for which it is understood to have paid about €2 million.

The pub chain founded by Derry-born businessman Tim Martin also recently acquired HQ Bar and Restaurant at the Grand Canal, Dublin, for an undisclosed sum. The property, on Hanover Quay, was put up for sale in June of this year with a guide price of €5.5 million.

Its newest pub due to open here, around April, will be in Waterford.

Most of the investment, which will be funded through organic growth and cash flow, will be channelled into developments in small and medium-sized towns, but will also include larger towns and cities.

These are set to include new pubs in Bourne in Lincolnshire; Hamilton in Scotland; Ely in Cambridgeshire; Diss in Norfolk; Felixstowe in Suffolk; Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire; and Prestatyn in North Wales.

It will also be investing in major cities including London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds and Galway.

Smaller towns

“We are looking forward to opening many more new pubs as well as investing in existing pubs over the next four years,” said Wetherspoons founder and chairman, Mr Martin.

“We are especially pleased that a large proportion of the investment will be in smaller towns and cities which have seen a decline in investment in recent years. The fact that we will be creating approximately 10,000 jobs is great news too.”

Wetherspoons operates 875 pubs and 58 hotels across Britain and Ireland and employs 44,000 staff.

The British pub chain has one pub in Dublin city centre – the Silver Penny on Abbey Street – and is developing another.

It also runs pubs in Blackrock, Blanchardstown, Swords and Cork and has sites in Waterford and Galway, which are due to be redeveloped. Mr Martin previously said the company aims to open 30 sites here.

While sites in Galway and Waterford are being developed, and a possible acquisition in Limerick is mooted, it is expected that the majority of future growth will be in the greater Dublin area. – Additional reporting: PA