Private meeting over possible office purchase

The Cross.
The Cross.

As members of Angus Council met on Tuesday (yesterday) to discuss the ‘proposed purchase of a council building’ it emerged representatives of the local business community are planning to meet to discuss any impact a possible sale to national pub chain JD Wetherspoon would have on the town centre.

As the Dispatch and Herald went to press, the private meeting in the Town and County Hall was set to discuss the possible sale of council offices at The Cross, which includes the offices of the Provost and the council’s elected members.

Alan Hampton, owner of Bar 10 at The Cross, stated that whilst a Wetherspoons would not adversely affect his business, he had concerns for others in the town.

He had been contacted by two fellow publicans and a meeting is to be held to discuss the matter.

He said: “I’m not too concerned as I think we could hold our own. Ultimately there will be no new business as they will only redistribute turnover which will come out of the pockets of all the other pubs, the majority of which are locally owned.”

Ian Whyte of The Plough also expressed his concerns for the town centre.

He said: “The small businesses won’t be able to compete and whilst they may say they will bring 25 new jobs to the town, 50 other jobs could be lost. This could leave 10 empty spaces on Forfar’s high street which it can ill afford.”

When contacted regarding their interest in opening an outlet in Forfar, a spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said: “Wetherspoon is looking at sites in Forfar, however, the company cannot comment on any specific site, at this early stage.”