Drinkers rejoice as Wigan borough's four Wetherspoon's pubs escape the axe

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The four Wetherspoon’s pubs in Wigan borough have escaped the axe after the High Street chain announced a drastic slimming-down operation.

JD Wetherspoon said it was closing 11 pubs and putting another 35 on the market because of plunging sales caused by more people drinking at home.

However, The Moon Under Water in Wigan, The Brocket Arms in Swinley, The Sir Thomas Gerard in Ashton and The Thomas Burke in Leigh all managed to escape the cut.

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Wetherspoon’s chairman and founder Tim Martin said the combined impact of the pandemic and soaring costs, including food, energy and maintenance, had led to the current predicament.

The Moon Under Water in Wigan town centreThe Moon Under Water in Wigan town centre
The Moon Under Water in Wigan town centre

While sales at the pub chain jumped at the end of 2022, Wetherspoon’s is still struggling to achieve its pre-pandemic performance, with like-for-like sales still two per cent behind 2019 levels.

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Mr Martin told the PA news agency: “The aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been far more difficult than anyone thought.

“That is the picture for the whole pub and restaurant industry. People thought that after lockdown there would be a boom in people suffering from cabin fever but, instead, it has almost been the opposite situation as people have got in the habit of staying in.

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“That’s the big thing that means sales are down on 2019. Things are improving now but it’s slow.”

As well as the 11 pubs set to close their doors, 35 Wetherspoons venues around the country are now on the market to potential buyers and could also face closure.

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