Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Wetherspoon to create 10,000 jobs in 250 new pubs

Wetherspoon's pub
JD Wetherspoon operates 743 pubs in the UK

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has announced it will open 250 pubs over the next five years, creating 10,000 jobs in the process.

The new pubs represent a slight increase in the group's current rate of expansion.

The group opened 39 pubs in the year to the end of July, and had already announced it would open 40 new pubs by the middle of next summer.

Wetherspoon recently reported record sales in the year to the end of July.

The group said it would invest £250m in the new outlets over the five years.

Falling prices

"Our pubs are extremely popular and we wish to build on their success by opening more," said Wetherspoon's chairman Tim Martin.

He told the BBC that recessions "can be a good time to expand" because property prices fall.

"We slowed down our rate of expansion a few years back as we felt that property prices were at an unsustainable level. Now that they've dropped, it does make it easier."

This is the third recession it has experienced in its 30 years of trading. Pubs are closing at a rate of 52 a week according to the British Beer & Pub Association.

The new pubs will be located across the UK, including sites in Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle.

Wetherspoon currently operates 743 pubs in the UK.

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