Wetherspoon seeks new Kenilworth location

A shot of Blockbuster and Jade take-away next door in Abbey End. 'A planning application is in. 'MHLC-22-01-14  Blockbuster Jan41
A shot of Blockbuster and Jade take-away next door in Abbey End. 'A planning application is in. 'MHLC-22-01-14 Blockbuster Jan41

The Wetherspoon pub chain could be on its way to Kenilworth after the company confirmed it has identified a site in the town.

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon this week confirmed that a town location is currently being negotiated.

Spokesperson Eddie Gershon said: “Wetherspoon has identified a site in Kenilworth and is in negotiations. But, at this very early stage, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

A planning application was this month submitted to Warwick District Council seeking change of use of the Jade Restaurant and the former Blockbuster shop into a drinking establishment.

If approved, the adjoining units would be transformed into one with new fronting and a ground floor rear extension.

However the application has been submitted by an agent and it is not yet known if Wetherspoon is behind it.

Kenilworth Town Council is due to discuss the application on Thursday before district council planners have the final say later this year.

The Wetherspoon pub chain has been looking to come to the town centre for years and it is understood Jade Restaurant has been for sale for some time.

If the pub chain does come to Kenilworth anticipation is high for the jobs and trade it would bring.

Eagerly waiting for more news on the possible new business, Richard Hales, chair of the chamber of trade, welcomed any trade which would fill empty units and bring people into the town centre.

“Whatever this pub or bar is, it will do wonders by filling another unit and getting people out,” he said.

Kenilworth’s town centre suffered a hit over the past year with closures including Kenilworth Wines, Crash Bang Wallop, Co-op Electrix, Camerama and Paul’s Hair Studio all leading to a sharp rise in empty shop units.

Hoping to address the issue, town centre manager, Zoë Court is now looking into possibilities of pop-up shops to temporarily fill the spaces and bring in shoppers.

“No-one likes to see empty shops all over the place and there are a lot of plans in place to bring new business into Kenilworth,” she said.

Card Factory is now due to open in Warwick Road and the former Job Centre at Abbey End was taken over by the Tree House Bookshop last year.