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Friday, 22 August 2014

Pub chain told: 'Stay away'

A HUGE pub chain is looking to move into Ulverston.

JD Wetherspoon has examined a number of potential sites in the town – believed to include Roxy Bingo in Brogden Street.

But furious publicans believe opening a JD Wetherspoon in Ulverston would kill off the town.

Wendy Barry, of Avanti El Capitola wine bar in King Street, Ulverston, said: “I’m definitely not happy.

“Ulverston is too unique for a Wetherspoon. Independent licensees have been in the town for years, putting back into the community and using local produce, but this would stop all that.

“They just sell cheap booze, which will only add to the problems we sometimes have on a Friday or Saturday night. It will bring binge drinking.

“I hope that everybody gets behind us and puts ‘Say no to Wetherspoons’ signs in their windows.”

Colin Cropley, of the Armadale Hotel thinks the town’s economy would suffer if a Wetherspoon were to open.

He said: “There are more than enough pubs in Ulverston already. It’s not needed. Bulk buying means they can cut costs. They have no music, no TV, just drink.

“I use local produce and local companies to support the area.

“What do the big companies put back into the towns? Nothing.”

Other publicans are worried that fixed rates from breweries would stop them competing with the cheap prices and force them to close.

Stuart Ward, landlord of the Kings Arms, said: “It will kill the town off.

“It would be a nail in the coffin for other pubs in Ulverston with their cheap drink.

“The beauty about Ulverston is the variation. Each pub has a different theme or something they do well.

“If they put a Wetherspoon in Ulverston it would kill off at least 3/4 of the pubs here.

“The effect would be massive. We couldn't compete.

“It is the worst scenario.”

Cumbria county councillor for Ulverston West, James Airey, said: “I like Ulverston town centre as it is, with independent pubs and I am not sure that Wetherspoons could add much to the town and not at the price of some of our good quality establishments.

“We wouldn't want to see a knock on effect of disorder caused by cheap alcohol sales.

“We would like to strike a balance and encourage new businesses to the town but perhaps Wetherspoon is suited to a bigger town.”

Tony Jerome, head of marketing for CAMRA, said: “The introduction of a Wetherspoon pub to Ulverston will hopefully be good news for real ale drinkers as they will offer a number of different real ales from breweries across Britain.

“We also hope other real ale pubs in the area will look to offer something slightly different to the Wetherspoon pub and benefit from the increase in real ale drinkers visiting Ulverston.”

JD Wetherspoon has branches in Barrow and Kendal.

A spokesman for the chain said: “Wetherspoons is interested in moving to the town of Ulverston and we are looking into a number of possible sites.

“We have pubs in Barrow, Whitehaven and Carlisle and are definitely looking into the town.”

Have your say

I have a shop in Ulverston town centre and let me say it is hard work. The town is DYING. Business rates are sky high and it costs an arm and a leg to park here.The town needs fresh faces and new companies to come in and brighten the place up a bit. The current offering of stores clearly isn't what the townsfolk are looking for as trade isn't good. We NEED change. Let Sainsburys and Weatherspoons come. Competition is healthy. It will make existing businesses re-focus and improve the shopping experience in the town. Too many people are afraid of moving forward with the times I'm afraid

Posted by jc on 25 July 2011 at 11:17

Helen,you are quite correct,there are people in Ulverston that realise you have to move with the times in terms of modernisation.
Unfortunately,as we all know companies such as Wetherspoons and Sainsbury's are huge enterprises who's number one aim is the overwhelming urge to go on increasing profits year on year hence,Ulverston is now a target for this purpose.But lets be clear about these two money making machines,they are in no way different to the smaller business people in the town(the petty bourgeois)in there number one priority,and as some posts on this site clearly demonstrate it is these corner shop capitalists that start spouting all this nonsense about how Ulverstons character will be destroyed,and it will be the ruination of a little market town,truth is,it has not got any and it never was-not for a long time now anyway.The cold hard facts about Ulverston are that it is just another place on the map as indeed is Dalton,only not quite as depressing as the ancient capital.As for a certain Mr Fallon mentioned by J Graham,why on earth would we want his opinion on Wetherspoons,is this not the same man who is fond of spouting about cheap supermarket booze killing of the pub trade when we all know that in reality it is the pubs that are to dear.Bring Wetherspoons,and Salisbury's on now and we will all see the loyalty Ulverston folk have to their charming little 'market town',full of 'character'.

Posted by mally on 24 July 2011 at 16:12

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