JD Wetherspoon, the managed pub operator, is on target to open 50 pubs in 2011, equally the number of openings last year. The group, which is led by Tim Martin, started the year with 787 pubs spread across the UK currently operates 835 after opening its latest site today in Mere Green, near Sutton Coldfield. The company will open two more pubs before Christmas in Shaw, near Oldham and in Prescot, on Merseyside. It has sites already lined up for next year in Amesbury, Kirkby, Leek, Phwllhali, Seaham and Selby. Earlier this year, Martin said that the managed pub operator might have to consider scaling back its expansion plans if there is a further increase in beer duty.