Pub chain’s Jubilee boost

SALES figures for the JD WETHERSPOON pub chain — which has the Pilgrim Oak in Hucknall and William Peverel in Bulwell — received a big boost from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Euro 2012 football tournament.

The national group, whose 850 pubs are mainly in town centres, has reported that the special events had a positive impact on footfall as sales rose 6.1% in the 11 weeks up to July 8, compared to a 2% rise in the previous quarter.

Nottingham University graduate Tim Martin, who runs Wetherspoon, said the chain was facing the major challenge of ongoing cost pressures as the result of government legislation.

“The pace of our new pub openings is having to be slowed down because we are grappling with a £50 million increase in our annual tax bill,” said Mr Martin.

One encouraging sign, he added, was that people may be starting to return to pubs after the smoking ban.

“We are possibly seeing a revival as smokers get used to going outside and people who don’t like smoking start to come back,” said Mr Martin.

The William Peverel opened last September at a coast of £1.3 million.