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JD Wetherspoon Plans £30m Investment in Ireland

Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has revealed plans to spend £200m (€237m) on its estate over the next four years, of which £30m (€35.6m) will be invested in Ireland.

The company said it would use the cash to develop new pubs and hotels, as well as enlarging its existing pubs.

JD Wetherspoon already has 875 pubs and 58 hotels across the UK and Ireland and promised that its latest move would create 10,000 new jobs.

Most of the investment will be directed towards small- and medium-sized towns and cities in the UK, including Bourne, Hamilton, Ely, Diss, Felixstowe, Newport Pagnell and Prestatyn, as well as in major cities like London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, and Leeds.

In Ireland, there will be new sites in Waterford, Galway, and two venues in Dublin, creating a total of 300 new jobs.

At present, the company operates seven pubs in Ireland – in Blackrock, Blanchardstown, Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Dún Laoghaire and Swords.

First to open in Ireland, in late May or early June 2020, will be the former HQ Bar and Restaurant, on Hanover Quay, Dublin.

That will be followed in June by the 89-bedroom Keavan’s Port hotel, on Camden Street Upper and Lower, in Dublin’s city centre. The pub’s name refers to the fact that Camden Street Upper and Lower are part of an ancient highway into the city of Dublin.  The two streets were previously known as St Kevin’s Port.  In a series of old maps and records, the name is shown as Keavan’s Port.

Development on Wetherspoon’s as-yet-unnamed Waterford pub on Broad Street and Arundel Square will begin in January 2020, with the opening date set for late June or early July.

Meanwhile, the company has bought a former nightclub in Eglinton Street, Galway, and aims to build a pub with a 4,000sq ft customer area and a 1,900sq ft first-floor garden.

Founder and chairman Tim Martin, who has been a high-profile backer of Brexit, said: “We are looking forward to opening many more new pubs as well as investing in existing pubs over the next four years.

“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.”

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