JD Wetherspoon aiming to start work on new Felixstowe pub this summer
Building work to transform the site of a former GP surgery in Felixstowe to a new pub is set to begin this summer, officials have confirmed.
Plans for a new JD Wetherspoon branch in the town's Hamilton Road were approved by East Suffolk Council last year.
And today, Eddie Gershon, spokesman for the pub chain said: "Wetherspoon is aiming to start building work in July this year."
The proposals, submitted by architects KD Paine and Associates Ltd, for a two-storey pub on the site of a former doctor's surgery, close to Felixstowe Railway Station, were given the green light in August 2020.
Planning documents said the new pub would "revitalise a derelict site with a landmark building and offer a refreshment and dining opportunity on a public square at the entrance of the town".
"We have a strong belief in the proposed intervention and its ability to rejuvenate this piece of the Felixstowe town fabric, to provide a new urban experience," the statement adds.
"This, we feel, would be a positive step for the site and the area as whole."
The Felixstowe pub will become the ninth Wetherspoon branch in Suffolk.
The news comes as the company has announced that on a national level it is set to invest £145 million in opening new pubs and upgrading existing ones, creating 2,000 new jobs.
The ambitious plans will start within weeks of its pubs reopening fully as the lockdown eases.
A total of 18 new pubs will open and “significant extensions and upgrades” will be made to scores of current pubs.
Once all 75 projects in the pipeline are completed, Wetherspoon said it anticipates investing £750 million to open 15 new pubs and enlarging 50 existing pubs each year for 10 years, creating 20,000 new jobs.
Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: “Our immediate investment will provide work for architects, contractors and builders as well as result in 2,000 new jobs for staff in our pubs.
“We are geared up to start on the first projects within a few months.
“We are also committed to our long-term investment and job creation programme over the next decade.
“However, the investment is conditional on the UK opening back up again on a long-term basis, with no further lockdowns or the constant changing of rules.”