Wetherspoon’s to create 2,000 new jobs through pub expansion strategy

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JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) said it is planning to invest £145mln expanding and upgrading its pub estate through a strategy it said will create 2,000 new jobs.

The FTSE 250 publican said it has a pipeline of 75 projects, 18 of which are new pubs while 57 are “significant extensions and upgrades” to its current chain of 871 locations.

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It said it is aiming to begin development within weeks of its pubs reopening fully following lockdown, with the first tranche of new pubs and extensions to be located in towns and cities including Leeds, Birmingham, Newport Pagnell, Heswall, Sheffield, Felixstowe, Dublin, Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Glasgow.

Wetherspoon’s said once the 75 projects are completed it is aiming to invest another £750mln to open 15 new pubs and enlarging another 50 each year for 10 years, which in total will add 20,000 new jobs.

“Our immediate investment will provide work for architects, contractors and builders as well as result in 2,000 new jobs for staff in our pubs. We are geared up to start on the first projects within a few months”, Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin said in a statement.

“ We are also committed to our long-term investment and job creation programme over the next decade. However, the investment is conditional on the UK opening back up again on a long-term basis, with no further lockdowns or the constant changing of rules”, he added.

Shares in the company rose 1.4% to 1,357.7p in mid-morning trading on Tuesday.

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