ONE of West Somerset’s best-known hotels has been bought by pub chain J D Wetherspoon as part of a £5 million investment by the national group.
The Wellington Hotel (pictured), in Minehead, will now be converted to the Wetherspoons brand and should be reopened in early December, time for the run-up to Christmas.
The hotel freehold, which includes a nightclub, was sold by owner Barry Richards for an undisclosed fee, although the asking price had been in excess of £2 million.
The three-storey building has 25 bedrooms, two public bars, a karaoke bar, and a 100-cover restaurant.
There is also a separate apartment and a manager’s flat which could be converted into further letting bedrooms.
Mr Richards, who also owns the Beach Hotel and the Queen’s Head, in Minehead, and the Masons Arms, in Williton, has run the Wellington Hotel for 23 years but now wants to concentrate on oversees interests.
The sale was handled by Michael Easton, of Christie and Co, Exeter, who said: “The Wellington Hotel is a well-organised and highly profitable business, and is particularly well supported by the local community.
“A Wetherspoons outlet is perfect for the location, and I am sure it will be a benefit to the town.”
Wetherspoons is also opening new premises in Bodmin, Doncaster, Oldham, and Sutton, and creating around 200 news jobs, including those in Minehead.
The chain has more than 700 pubs and 17,000 employees nationwide.
Its founder, Tim Martin, lives near Exeter.