Wetherspoons sell five Northern Ireland pubs

Wetherspoons have sold five bars in Northern Ireland
Wetherspoons have sold five bars in Northern Ireland

JD Wetherspoon has sold five of its pubs in Northern Ireland.

The pubs have been sold to The Granny Annie’s Group who are to continue running them as pubs.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon

Staff at each of the pubs will be transferred to the new owner and as a result there will be no job losses.

The sold pubs are; The Old Courthouse, Castlerock Road, Coleraine, The Spinning Mill in Broughshane Street, Ballymena, The Linen Hall, Townhall Street, Enniskillen, The Diamond, London Road and The Ice Wharf, Strand Road, both in Londonderry.

Wetherspoon will continue to run its pubs in Belfast, Newtownards, Carrickfergus and Lisburn.

The company aims to open two new pubs in Belfast; a former retail unit in Royal Avenue and a former church in University Street.

It still requires various permissions on both sites, so as yet, there are no on site or opening dates.

Wetherspoon intends to spend more than £4.5 million and create 100 new jobs across the two developments.

In addition, it has submitted planning permission to develop a new beer garden at The Bridge House in Belfast.

Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: “We understand that our loyal customers will be disappointed with the decision to sell five of our pubs in Northern Ireland.

“However, as a company we have to make commercial decisions and it was decided to sell the pubs.

“At the same time we are looking to open two new pubs in Belfast in the near future.”

A spokesperson for Granny Annie’s commented: “We are delighted to have acquired five of the JD Wetherspoon’s Northern Ireland pub portfolio.

“These include The Linen Hall in Enniskillen, The Old Courthouse in Coleraine, The Spinning Mill in Ballymena together with The Ice Wharf and The Diamond in Londonderry.

“The outlets will continue to trade as normal over the Festive Season. A £3m renovation programme will commence in early 2017.

“The Granny Annie’s Group already own and operate a number of hugely popular venues across Northern Ireland including Londonderry, Limavady and Belfast. Further properties in Belfast and Portrush have already been acquired earlier this year and are scheduled to open during the first half of 2017.”