Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Three cheers for Wetherspoons

Pub chain JD Wetherspoons has submitted a planning application to invest £3m and reopen the derelict Grade II listed Royal Victoria Pavilion on Ramsgate harbour.

Having agreed a lease for the property with Thanet District Council late last year, the pub chain now plans to transform two thirds of the derelict building into a pub. The remaining space will be refurbished and made available to other retail tenants in an attempt to boost the area’s attractiveness to visitors.

The company, which specialises in transforming old and landmark buildings into pubs, operates nearly 1,000 pubs and has plans to grow by 20-30 to maintain its market share during 2015.

The pub would operate over two floors, with a large outdoor seating area with sea views on the first floor. The pavilion closed in 2008 and suffered a major fire in 2011.

The investment should also be a boost to future plans to transform the nearby Pleasurama site.

Although it’s inevitable the new pub will impact on other local pub operators, let’s hope Thanet raises a glass to Wetherspoons’ plans and the regeneration of a fading gem.

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