Wetherspoon Sales Up Ahead of New Belfast Bars

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Wetherspoon Sales Up Ahead of New Belfast Bars

Construction on two new JD Wetherspoon pubs in Belfast will begin in spring 2016, says boss Tim Martin, who has reason to be confident of the chain's next venture.

The UK-based pub chain saw a rise in sales right across the UK, including Northern Ireland, where there are currently nine pubs in operation. Martin told the Belfast Telegraph that work on the new pubs is progressing.

"I think we have had a positive enough initial response, but we haven't got all the necessary approvals," he said. "Hopefully we can get it agreed by year end, but it may well be as late as spring next year before it begins."

Sales across all the pubs - nearly 1,000 in total - were up by two per cent in the 13 weeks up to 25 October. "Sales have been good, business has been good," said Martin.

Martin also commented on the upcoming Living Wage Act which will come into effect in April 2016, saying it "may be too idealistic" and will hurt business located in "less affluent towns." The UK minimum wage is set to rise to £7.20.