A MAJOR pub chain has insisted it remains committed to opening an outlet in a Deeside town – but cannot promise a start date.

The highly-anticipated Wetherspoon’s in Shotton was originally due to open in 2008, but has hit serious delays.

The company said work to convert the derelict Central Hotel building near Shotton railway station would start in August but the builders have yet to move in on the £1m-plus project.

JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told the Leader: “We purchased the site in June 2008 and have owned it since then.

“We are going to open a pub on the site, of that there is no doubt, but because we’re opening so many pubs at the moment those that will cost the most and take more time to develop go to the back of the queue.

“We like to think of ourselves as an honest company but there is no point in saying it will open in August when we know it won’t.

“All we can say is that it will be at some point in the near future.”

The delay has frustrated some community leaders who are looking forward to the benefits they believe it would bring to the area.

Local cafe owners who fear business could be hit by the new pub told the Leader they were glad of the delay.

Paul Rowlands, head chef at the Corner Kitchen cafe in Shotton, said: “I just hope that when Wetherspoon’s do open that it won’t affect our business."

He added: “We already have special deals like a free drink with your breakfast but we may have to come up with other ideas when Wetherspoon’s finally come.”

The pub will create about 35 jobs when it finally opens and will be the second Wetherspoon’s in Flintshire after the Gold Cape in Mold,which opened in 2003.
Plans for a branch in Flint were shelved last year.

Wetherspoon’s has 731 outlets around the country and plans to open about 50 more this year.