Weather Icon 9.5°C Partly Cloudy
Wetherspoon call time on popular Hyde pub
Monday 3rd July 2017 @ 14:56 by Tom Greggan
Hyde News Tameside

JD Wetherspoon is to call time on a popular Hyde pub later this month, although they say there will be no job losses as a result.

The Cotton Bale, on Market Place, will close on July 16th with staff relocated to other Wetherspoon pubs in the area. It’s a bitter blow to Hyde town centre, which has also lost other big businesses such as HSBC and Wilkinsons.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We can confirm that The Cotton Bale in Hyde is to close.

“All staff at the pub will be relocated to other Wetherspoon pubs and there will be no job losses as a result of the closure.

“We appreciate that our loyal customers will be disappointed with the decision. Wetherspoon has to make commercial decisions and on occasion it closes some of its pubs and this is the case with The Cotton Bale.”

Local MP Jonathan Reynolds MP reacted angrily to new of the closure after being told just a few months ago that the pub would remain open. “I’m pretty angry to discover that The Cotton Bale is closing,” he said. “I’m angry not just because this is a big loss to our local economy, but also because I wrote to JD Wetherspoons in March when I first heard the closure rumoured, and they replied in April to assure me the pub’s future was secure. I am very disappointed that Wetherspoons appear to have misled me, and the local public, rather than work together to try to save The Cotton Bale.

“There are many great food and drink success stories for those wanting to dine in Hyde- like the fabulous Gracie’s cafe whose onion ring stacks are to die for, and Tweed Breweries, who are soon to turn their Artisan Market stall into a permanent craft beer bar. Please give these wonderful businesses and the many others like them your custom.”

Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds says he’s angry at the closure, after being told just a few months ago that the pub was safe.

A online petition, titled “Save The Cotton Bale Hyde” has attracted over 200 signatures and locals have been expressing their disappointment on social media, including a number of comments on the ‘Hyde Past and Present’ Facebook page that conveyed fear for the town’s future.

Garry Shepperd posted: “I never went in but it always seemed active from morning until night. Such a shame, another nail in Hyde’s coffin,” while David Farmer added: “Such a shame the Cotton Bale is shutting! Always a friendly welcome in there even for people who were not regulars.”

Peter Woodier commented: “It might help some other pubs, but a lot of people are in the habit of shopping in Hyde and then having lunch or tea at The Cotton Bale. They might shop elsewhere now. I use it about 4 times a week as I enjoy the cafe culture there. I have a quiet read and a couple of pints in civilised circumstances.”

Jonathan Reynolds echoed that sentiment and said swift action is needed. He said: “After the loss of Wilkinsons, HSBC and now Wetherspoons, we do need to take urgent steps to secure more investment in Hyde town centre. I am working with council leaders and local groups to invite appropriate national brands to Hyde, and better support independent local enterprise. Hyde is open for business and together we can see it thriving again.”

The disappointing news in Hyde comes at a time when a Wetherspoon’s in Stalybridge prepares to open its doors to the public again following a £1.2 million development project, creating ten new jobs.

The Society Rooms, on Grosvenor Street, will re-open on July 14th having been shut for just over a month while the pub was enlarged and a new beer garden added.

Jonathan Reynolds MP will officially open the new-look pub at 8am. The Society Rooms manager, Tom Palmer, said: “I am confident that our customers will welcome the new-look pub and the addition of a wonderful beer garden.

“The investment highlights our commitment to Stalybridge and will hopefully act as a catalyst for further investment into the town.”