Traders’ pub plan stance sparks uproar

Alnwick Corn Exchange.

Alnwick Corn Exchange.

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Residents have responded angrily to the opposition to Wetherspoon’s £1.3million pub plans for the Corn Exchange in Alnwick highlighted in last week’s Gazette.

We reported that Alnwick Chamber of Trade has said it will fight the plans, voicing huge concerns, including fears it will have a major impact on the town centre.

But their views have sparked a huge response from readers both in the comments section of our website and on Facebook.

A Facebook page, Yes or No to Wetherspoon’s in Alnwick?, has attracted more than 300 likes as well as a large number of comments.

A poll on the page is trying to gauge opinion on whether people want Wetherspoon to come to Alnwick with 615 votes so far, more than 500 in favour of Wetherspoon.

Now the Gazette is launching its own poll to collect more information about whether north Northumberland wants the pub chain in the town.

Comments on the original story on the Gazette website are almost unanimously in support of the proposals, which would create around 40 jobs.

A concerned local said: “Yes it WILL have a major impact on Alnwick town centre – it will bring loads more people into the town plus it will force other pubs and restaurants to be more competitive. Both good things in my opinion! Cannot wait for Wetherspoon’s to open in Alnwick.”

While ex-Alnwick man Simon Jobson (jobby2003 on the Gazette website), who set up the Facebook page, commented: “They would prefer the Corn Exchange to sit and rot away for the rest of its days rather than turn into into a viable business that will bring jobs and money to the town. People are still going to use the pubs and restaurants in the town as well as this Wetherspoon’s. I don’t think a Wetherspoon’s is EVERYONE’S cup of tea - or at least I think people would chose variation. It’s all about choice in this world. People CHOOSE to go somewhere. If there happens to be a pub that opens that is BETTER than what is on offer, then the other places need to buck their ideas up and compete.”


The latest results from the poll as well as a paper copy will be in this Thursday’s Gazette.

The Facebook poll can be found here.