Pub giant JD Wetherspoon puts Portsmouth city centre pub up for sale

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Hopes are high the future of a Portsmouth city centre pub will remain secure despite it being put up for sale.

Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has placed The Trafalgar, in Edinburgh Road, on the market along with 33 other boozers in the UK as part of a ‘periodic review’ of its stock.

Company boss Tim Martin has said the pubs have up to 30 per cent poorer sales than others it operates.

It comes despite Wetherspoon expressing an interest in setting up in Gunwharf Quays in recent times.

Campaign for Real Ale member Martyn Constable believes another pub operator will snap up the opportunity to acquire The Trafalgar given its prime city location.

He said: ‘I don’t think there is any real cause for concern.

‘It’s busy during the day, but not hectic.

‘It won’t be shut down, it will go to a prominent pub company or nightclub owner.

‘Hopefully the money they make will go into investing in areas where they don’t have pubs.’

But others are less concerned whether it remains a pub given it’s never been an integral part of Portsmouth’s drinking culture.

Stuart Ainsworth, landlord of The Leopold Tavern, in Albert Road, Southsea, says he has never been a fan of the Wetherspoon model.

He said: ‘It’s not a place that is part of our history or heritage.

‘We are talking about a pub that has been open for four or five years.

‘It will most likely continue as a venue operated by a national chain.

‘You won’t get an independent buyer due to the size of the place and the costs involved.

‘It’s a massive, prime location.

‘But if people didn’t drink in there, they would go to drink at a proper pub. I’ve never classified it as a proper pub.’

Meanwhile, assurances have been made that Trafalgar staff will get the option of taking jobs at other Wetherspoon venues.

And the pub is to remain open until negotiations with a buyer are settled.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘We can confirm that The Trafalgar is up for sale.

‘Wetherspoon has put 34 of its pubs on the market and it includes The Trafalgar.

‘The pubs went on the market a few days back.

He added: ‘We appreciate that the pub’s customers will be disappointed with the decision.

‘The pub will remain open as a Wetherspoon outlet until it is sold.

‘It if it sold then staff will be offered jobs at other Wetherspoon pubs, or might wish to stay with the new owners.’