JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to plough millions into new pubs and upgrades over the next 10 years.

It has allocated an initial £145m to expansion and pub upgrades followed by a more long-term £750m investment project.

The group wants to kick start the investment within weeks of its pubs opening fully under the lifting of Covid restrictions.

It has lined up 18 new pubs and 57 extensions and upgrades to its existing 871 houses.

The first of these will include Leeds, Birmingham, Newport Pagnell, Heswall, Sheffield, Felixstowe, Dublin, Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Glasgow.

Once the first 75 are completed, it plans to open 15 new pubs and enlarge 50 existing ones each year for 10 years.

Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: “Our immediate investment will provide work for architects, contractors and builders as well as result in 2,000 new jobs for staff in our pubs.

“We are geared up to start on the first projects within a few months. “We are also committed to our long-term investment and job creation programme over the next decade. “However, the investment is conditional on the UK opening back up again on a long-term basis, with no further lockdowns or the constant changing of rules.”