A PUB and restaurant in Taunton could be set to close following proposals which could see 1,500 jobs cut nationwide.

Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre brands, last month put forward its Accelerating Growth Plan, which will add 3,500 new hotel rooms to Premier Inns across the UK and evolve the company's food and beverage offer.

This could result in Taunton's The O'Bridge Brewers Fayre being sold, along with several others, the company has confirmed.

Footfall at the neighbouring branded restaurants owned by Whitbread - including Brewers Fayre - which serve 466 Premier Inns, have reportedly suffered from a reduction in footfall from non-hotel guests.

To combat this, Whitbread plans to use the premises of 112 of the lowest-returning restaurants to create new hotel rooms, as Premier Inn hotel performance has reportedly 'gone from strength to strength' in the 2024 financial year.

An integrated restaurant will then be built inside each of these buildings alongside the hotel rooms, mirroring the already successful format of 387 integrated restaurants that are already in operation.

Over the next 24 months, Whitbread plans to exit an additional 126 of its branded restaurants, although these will continue to operate as normal so that they can be sold as going concerns.

21 of the remaining branded restaurants will be sold for a total of £28m after combining for a loss of £9million in the 2024 financial year, resulting in the loss of around 1,500 jobs.

In a statement to the County Gazette, Whitbread confirmed proposals have been announced which could affect Taunton's Brewers Fayre branch, but stressed that said proposals remain subject to consultation, and that the site will continue to trade as normal for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson for Whitbread added:  "We recognise that this will be unsettling for our team members and we are providing them with dedicated support.

"We are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of our affected team members to stay with us by either transferring into new roles, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activity."