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Wolverhampton and Dudley eye up former Spirit pubs… For more hospitality stories see what the weekend papers say

30 May 2006

Acquisitive Wolverhampton and Dudley eye up former Spirit pubs
Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries said it remained "well positioned" to pursue fresh acquisitions. The company refused to name specific targets, although it is known to be among the final bidders for a package of 290 former Spirit Group pubs put up for sale by Punch TavernsThe Times, 27 May

Pub chain removing Sky over cost of football matches
Wolverhampton & Dudley is likely to remove Sky from half its pubs by the start of next season because of the "ridiculous" charges that it levies for showing football matches. The brewery said that the cost to it of showing the matches has increased by £400,000 in the first half of the year - a 20% increase on last year's figure. - Daily Telegraph, 27 May

Leeds restaurant changing from fine dining to a brasserie
Leeds restaurateur Denis Lefrancq and head chef Martell Smith plan to switch the style of one of the city's best-known fine dining restaurants, No. 3 York Place, into a brasserie. Mr Lefrancq said in its present format the restaurant was financially successful, but he believes it is time for a change. - Yorkshire Post, 27 May

M&C to move £286m of hotel property into investment trust
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels will put four Singaporean hotels worth £286.6m into a real estate investment trust and float the property vehicle on the Singapore stock exchange. - The Times, 27 May

Irish pubs facing steep decline in revenue
Publicans in Ireland have suffered their biggest monthly fall in six years. According to the Central Statistics Office, takings on alcohol fell by almost 5% in March, ending a mini-resurgence since the middle of last year, which followed 40 months of decline.

Irish hoteliers unite to fight wage ruling
Every bed & breakfast in Ireland is being asked for contributions to fund Ashford Castle's High Court action challenging a pay increase for its staff of 14% imposed by the Irish Labour Court. The ruling says the luxury hotel must pay receptionists at least €350 (£240) for a 39-hour week, waiting staff €450 (£308) and chefs €450. - Sunday Times (Irish edition only), 28 May

Iconic London factory to convert into a hotel
Jim McGettigan, the veteran Donegal-born hotelier, will submit a planning application next month to build a 500-bedroom hotel and conference facilities at the iconic former Gillette factory in west London. McGettigan's Bonnington Group paid £32.5m for the site last year. - Sunday Times (Irish edition only), 28 May.

MPs join Caterer's campaign against bed tax proposal
The proposal to introduce a tax on tourist accommodation in England to boost local government funding is being opposed in a Commons early day motion. At least 25 MPs have signed up against the so-called "bed tax" and it is understood that the Liberal Democrats may adopt the campaign against the tax as official party policy. - The Times, 29 May

Meat supplier to celebrity restaurants goes bust
One of London's oldest catering butchers has collapsed into administration with millions of pounds of debt. The collapse of CST Wholesale, within six months of being bought by a new private equity owner, has caused consternation among some of the most famous restaurants and hotels of London, including the Dorchester and Gordon Ramsay‘s kitchens, which were left short of supply. - Daily Telegraph, 29 May

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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