THE owner of Wetherspoons pub firm has made a promise for two West Cumbrian pubs, and suggested that a new branch could be opening.

Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin said that he hopes to open beer gardens in his branches in Workington and Whitehaven.

He also suggested that he was considering opening a Wetherspoons in Cockermouth.

Mr Martin was in Workington’s The Henry Bessemer as part of a tour of the north west of England.

He said: “I had breakfast there, spoke to all the staff on duty, made notes of their comments and agreed with their strongest suggestion – try to get a beer garden somehow.

“We’ve added beer gardens at many pubs including recently at Barrow, a while back at The William Rufus (in Carlisle) and soon, hopefully, at Whitehaven.”

On his tour, Mr Martin also stayed in Barrow-in-Furness on Wednesday and Carlisle on Thursday night.

He met Workington MP, Mark Jenkinson, in The Henry Bessemer.

Mr Martin said: “Mark is keen to encourage investment in his constituency and suggested that we should consider Cockermouth.”

Mark Jenkinson previously worked in Wetherspoons behind the bar and as a shift manager.

Mr Jenkinson said: “We had a breakfast meeting in the morning which was very informative.

“I used to work for Tim in Wetherspoons. I was in behind the bar initially and I was back as a shift manager later on. It was good to see him in Workington. I think he’s been doing a tour of his pubs in the last couple of days.

“It’s good to see him and good to chat about some stuff as well. The future of Wetherspoon as a firm and employment prospects in my constituency for example.”

On September 23, Wetherspoon pubs across the UK will be deducting 7.5 per cent off their prices.