Pub chain completes carpet shop purchase
By North Devon Journal | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 07:30
LANDLORDS in Bideford are welcoming the news a giant pub chain has completed the final stage of purchasing a site in the town.
JD Wetherspoon has completed the sale on the building in Bridgeland Street, which was formerly Bideford Carpet and Furnishing Centre.
The site is now ready to be transformed into the two storey pub, although the pub chain has been unable to confirm when it might open.
Eddie Gershon, a JD Wetherspoon spokesman, said the company had completed the purchase on Thursday and had already got planning and licensing permission, but he said they could not confirm when work would start.
When building work does begin, it is expected to be completed within three months, However, it may take longer, as work on other JD Wetherspoon sites across the country will be taking place at the same time.
The company will invest £1 million into the premises and the pub is expected to employ between 40 to 45 people.
Paul Phipps, who runs the Kings Arms on the Quay and is a member of Bideford Chamber of Commerce, said he thought the completion was good news for Bideford.
He said: "I think a lot of us still have the same policy that having a Wetherspoons will revive that end of town and will only build us all up. It can only be good."
There were concerns that, in light of the slow progress on the pub's development of the Ilfracombe Collingwood Hotel site, there would be a similar delay in Bideford.
But Mr Phipps said he did not think this would be a concern, due to the different scales of the projects.
He said: "I think the economic climate has made them think twice, due to the size of the project in Ilfracombe, but the refit of the old carpet and furniture shop will not be as big, so I am sure they will want to get on with it."
Mr Phipps said he thought JD Wetherspoon may try to open the Bideford site by September.
Bideford Carpet and Furnishing Centre has now relocated and opened its new premises in Hows Yard in Bideford.
Peter May, from the centre, said: "We first opened on Monday, January 28, after spending most of January moving from the old site.
"We have a much bigger range of stock here and on-site parking which we have never had before."