New JD Wetherspoon pub to open in the centre of Fakenham

JD Wetherspoon is to open a pub in the centre of Fakenham, it was confirmed this week.

The company has bought the premises, run formerly as The Garden House pub, at the bottom of Bridge Street from Horizon Inns.

A spokesman for Wetherspoon said that about �1 million would be invested in refurbishing and reopening the building, and about 45 jobs were expected to be created.

The news will be welcomed by many. There will, however, be fears that Wetherspoon's pricing structure could pose a major challenge to other pubs, restaurants and cafes in tough financial times.

But Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon insisted: 'Wetherspoon coming to Fakenham will be good news for the town. We are bringing jobs to the town and investing �1 million.

'Our pubs are successful, and we do provide competition for other pubs and restaurants; but, at the same time, we will be bringing more people into Fakenham, and other pubs and restaurants can benefit from this.'

Mr Gershon said it was not yet clear when the new Wetherspoon's would open.

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He also said a name for the pub had yet to be decided upon, though it would relate to Fakenham in some way.

The Garden House closed down last year after having its licence suspended by North Norfolk District Council.

Norfolk police reported to the council a catalogue of alleged problems including illegal drug use at the premises, violence, general anti-social behaviour and noise disturbance to neighbours.

The council's licensing committee suspended the licence and issued a series of terms for the management to adhere to, but the pub remained closed.