PUB giant Wetherspoon has moved a step closer to opening in Wellington.

The chain has been eyeing up potential sites in the town for some time and, as revealed in the County Gazette in February, it appears the old Town Hall is its likely destination.

In a statement released this week, the firm said: “We have exchanged on the old Town Hall in Fore Street. We are moving in the right direction but we still require planning and licensing permission.

“Wellington is a good town and a place we are keen to open up in.”

Wetherspoon said it could not put a timescale on any potential opening as there are some formalities still to be done, such as applying to Taunton Deane Council for a licence.

The old Town Hall currently houses a number of small businesses but some see it as an ideal site for a Wetherspoon due to its size.

Keith Wheatley, vice-chairman of Wellington Business Association, has already welcomed the possibility of the chain opening up.

He said: “When big coffee chain Coffee#1 opened in town there was some scepticism that it would put the cafés out of business but it hasn't.

“I think a Wetherspoon would pull in people who do not use the current town centre pubs so there is a whole new audience for a modern, family-friendly pub.

“There is certainly a gap in the town centre that Wetherspoon could fill but I don't think existing pubs need to worry. Any energetic, forward-thinking company is always welcome in the town.”

Speaking in February, Martin Barrington, landlord at the King's Arms, said he hopes the move will bring more trade into town.

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