Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is to open 200 new pubs and create 15,000 jobs over the next five years, the company has announced.
The firm said it will invest more than £400 million developing new pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Wetherspoon, which already operates 931 pubs, including in Preston, and employs 34,000 staff, said the new jobs will be spread across the new outlets as well as at existing sites. The new posts will include management roles as well as jobs for bar, kitchen and front of house staff.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “We are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoon is not yet represented.We are proud to be creating so many new jobs.”
Wetherspoon paid more than £600 m in taxes last year, expected to rise to £1bn soon.