Whitby will be getting a JD Wetherspoon pub, we can reveal today.
The New Angel pub in New Quay Road, which is boarded up, is to be taken over by the pub giant which is planning to invest more than £1m in the pub, former Laughton’s night club and takeaway in Angel Yard.
Andrew Haslam, partner at Begbies Traynor which took over control of the New Angel when it was placed in administration in May 2009, confirmed yesterday that contracts had been exchanged.
The deal is yet to be signed on the dotted line while queries with the Land Registry are being resolved but it is hoped redevelopment works can start as soon as possible.
Spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon, Eddie Gershon, said they had been looking for premises in Whitby for some time and up to 45 full and part-time jobs will be created.
He said: “Wetherspoon’s has almost 800 pubs across the UK and most towns and cities can fit a Wetherspoons.
“Whitby has a decent sized population of its own and attracts tourists and day trippers so there is an additional group of people that hopefully would come to the pub on a regular basis.
“We have enjoyed great success in nearby Scarborough and Middlesbrough and Whitby is a town we have been very interested in for a number of years.
“The fact we have found a good site and are close to agreeing the deal suggests hopefully we will be on site sooner rather than later.”
Mr Gershon added that Wetherspoon’s likes to give its pubs historical names so ‘Angel’ could well feature in the re-branding of the pub.
The New Angel was owned by a company called Absolute Leisure Ltd which also owned licensed premises in Newcastle, Hull and Darlington.
They were placed in administration in May 2009 but an agreement was put in place to allow the New Angel to carry on trading.
Mr Haslam said: “Instead of closing they traded which worked for all parties.
“During that period we were marketing the business and the property for sale.
“The best funded bid that we received was from Wetherspoon’s and that contract exchanged shortly before Christmas. In order to facilitate that we had to terminate the management agreement so we could exchange with a third party.
“Quite simply it looks a bit of an eyesore at the moment but to insure it I have got certain undertakings to comply with and unfortunately for the people of Whitby one of those is to board it up to comply with the empty property regulations – but hopefully it won’t be for any great length of time.”
Mr Haslam added the sum being ploughed into the project “was not insubstantial” and Wetherspoon’s had shown great commitment in the current economic climate.
He added: “To be fair we are not selling a lot so it is a welcome change.”