Bideford Chamber of Commerce say Wetherspoon pub The Rose Salterne has not improved business.
BIDEFORD traders say the new J D Wetherspoon pub has not improved business as much they hoped.
Bideford Chamber of Commerce is disappointed the Rose Salterne pub has not had the impact predicted since it opened in July after Wetherspoons spent more then £1 million refurbishing the former carpet and furnishing centre.
Businesses had hoped the pub would boost trade, particularly the night-time economy.
Paul Phipps, president of the chamber and owner of The Kings Arms on Bideford Quay, said: "We were hoping Wetherspoons would give an injection and revive the clubby atmosphere.
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"We have not seen a dip but we have certainly not seen an increase either.
"The pub just has not kept the people in the town for the night-time economy as much as we hoped.
"The youngsters are still going over to Barnstaple.
"If it hasn't improved trade over the busy summer then it is unlikely to over the winter when it gets quieter anyway."
Mr Phipps added that despite the lack of improvement, Bideford businesses believe the fact Wetherspoons has chosen Bideford will encourage other large companies to invest in the town.
Rob Braddick, who owns Crabby Dicks pub on Cooper Street, said: "The first and second weekend after the pub opened were excellent but then it tailed off. I thought people would stay.
"I was looking at making some changes to Crabby's but I am going to put it on hold for 12 months and see where we are then."
Despite the negative response from business, Wetherspoons is confident the pub will give Bideford a long term boost.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "The Rose Salterne has proven very popular since it opened.
"It has unquestionably brought more people to the area and is a far better proposition for the town than a disused empty shop in a prominent position."