Cheers! Wetherspoon announces 200 new pubs, creating 15,000 jobs

‘Tis the season to be jolly! British pub giant JD Wetherspoon has announced a £400m spending drive, creating 200 new pubs.

The investment will generate 15,000 new jobs over the next five years, the company said, many of which will be at existing sites.

The plans include 30 new pubs in the Republic of Ireland over the next two years.

The Watford-based chain, which was founded in 1979 by Tim Martin, already operates 930 pubs across Britain and Ireland, and employs over 33,000 people.

Martin said: “We are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoon is not yet represented.

“Wetherspoon paid more than £600m in taxes in our last financial year and this will rise to approximately £1bn in the course of the next five years.”

The move follows a public spat between Heineken and Wetherspoon, which led to the pub chain’s decision to drop all Heineken products from its bars.

Wetherspoon had been selling Heineken for €2.95 a pint at one of its Irish bars – significantly cheaper than the average €5 in other Irish pubs.

The row has seen all other Heineken products dropped, including Kronenburg, Fosters, Strongbow cider and Murphy’s stout. The move could represent a loss to Heineken worth €76m, according to the Irish Times.

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