Lockdown doesn’t halt Wirral Wetherspoons expansion plan

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JD Wetherspoon are set to expand a popular Merseyside pub, despite the coronavirus lockdown.

The pub chain’s plan for the Master Mariner pub, in New Brighton, Wirral, has been approved by Wirral Council.

The Master Mariner will expand into the building next door, the former Lacy’s Bar, creating a much bigger venue.

In total the pub will be over 75% bigger than it was before, increasing in size from 952 square metres to 1,684 square metres.

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The application to Wirral Council also states that the pub’s interior will be completely refurbished and there are plans for a new balcony at the front of the building.

The balcony will extend from the front of the first floor towards Union Terrace and Marine Parade.

An exact date for work beginning on the site cannot currently be given, but the fact that Wetherspoons still intend to expand the pub is a sign of confidence in a market which has been hugely compromised by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the design and access statement produced as part of the plans, there is an admission that the former Lacy’s Bar building is in poor condition, as it has been neglected for many years and lacks basic maintenance.

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But the application includes the pledge that the many planned improvements will “uplift” the appearance of the building and the street scene as a whole.

Speaking on behalf of JD Wetherspoon, Eddie Gershon said: “At the moment it’s a successful pub, we’ve always been keen to extend its size.

“I’m delighted that the planning application has been approved.”

Mr Gershon said that while the plan was set to go ahead, any development is currently on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown.

This meant he was unable to give any further information on exactly when work might commence and eventually be completed.

Mr Gershon added: “We believe [the application being accepted] is good news for the company and ultimately good news for the town itself.”

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