PUB chain JD Wetherspoon has confirmed proposals to open up to 15 more pubs in 2020 as part of ambitious plans to create up to 10,000 jobs over the next few years.
The new pub investment is part of a four year plan, previously announced, which will see around £200million ploughed into new and existing outlets.
Between 50 and 60 pubs are to be opened in total, while some existing pubs across the UK and Ireland will be enlarged.
There will be new pubs in areas including Bourne in Lincolnshire, Diss in Norfolk, Ely in Cambridgeshire, Felixstowe in Suffolk, Prestatyn in North Wales, and Waterford in Ireland.
There will also be investment in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds and Galway.
Jobs will be created gradually, and will be a mixture of pub management, bar staff, kitchen staff and others.
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The chain is also planning several more hotels.
It comes as total sales at the pub chain increased by 4.2 per cent for the first 12 weeks of its second quarter financial period to January 19, 2020.
In a trading statement, Wetherspoon said: “Since the start of the financial year, the company has opened one new pub and sold five and intends to open a further ten to 15. “It is expected that around £80million will be spent this year on new pubs and pub extensions.”
Under boss Tim Martin, Wetherspoon is targeting small and medium-sized towns that have suffered years of decline.
Wetherspoon already operates nearly 900 pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland and employs 44,000 staff.
Earlier this month, the pub chain said it is marking Brexit by reducing the price of 12 drinks from January 31.
Its so-called “Let’s stay friends” move will offer customers around 60p off drinks which originate in European countries including Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Holland and Ireland, as well as from across the UK.