'The Roebuck Inn' on St James street in the city centre

Opinions are divided about a beer festival in Nottingham which some people say will encourage anti-social behaviour and alcoholism.

Wetherspoon across Nottinghamshire will be offering pints for £2.10 at its Ale Festival. The boozy festival kicks off on 30 March.

However, opinions have been varied across Nottingham, with some not in favour of the event and claiming that it encourages anti-social behaviour and alcoholism.

With Nottingham being a heavily student populated city its alcoholism rates are high and represents a significant public health burden to the city.

The Gooseberry Bush on Peel Street, Nottingham, one of the pubs taking part in the festival

Since the pandemic Public Health England data shows 84 people from Nottinghamshire were among the 6,985 who died from alcohol-specific causes in 2021.

A number of various speciality beers will be available including some brewed especially for the festival. Wetherspoons will be offering up to 25 real ales, including three brews from Australia, USA and Italy.

Beers brewed in Orkney and Jersey will be on offer, with vegan and gluten-free beers available.

Participating pubs include the Roebuck Inn, St James Street; the Joseph Else, South Parade; Lloyds No. 1 Bar; and the Free Man, both in Carlton Street; and The Gooseberry Bush, Peel Street, Nottingham.

“Crime rates are going to increase, our community needs to tackle anti-social behaviour and Wetherspoons are Not trying to improve community welfare by promoting cheap alcohol as it is only going to do the opposite”

                              Mrs Robinson, Nottingham resident

Mrs Robinson who has lived in Nottingham for 15 years said: “Crime rates are going to increase.

“Our community needs to tackle anti-social behaviour and Wetherspoons are not trying to improve community welfare in the city by promoting cheap alcohol as it is only going to do the opposite.”

Katie Smallwood, an NHS worker who works within the mental health sector as a psychotherapeutic counsellor, said alcoholism had risen since the pandemic, with some people seeking help over the “silent killer”.

“Cases are increasing and many aren’t aware of the significance that alcohol increases risk of liver disease, heart disease, strokes and cancer as well as leading to mental health and financial problems.

“Wetherspoons should be looking at the statistics and promoting something with a positive health message behind it, along with encouraging people to seek help, as opposed to binge drinking.”

“The beer festival is encouraging binge drinking and by reducing the cost of drink it is going to entice people and students to drink more.”

Mrs Smallwood, NHS mental health worker

CBJ News contacted Wetherspoons for a comment. However, no response was received.

Opinions in Nottingham were divided, with some claiming it will not make a difference as Wetherspoons is a budget pub anyway and some completely opposed to the negativity it will bring.

Katie Smallwood added: “The beer festival is encouraging binge drinking and by reducing the cost of drink it’s going to entice people and students to drink more.”

Audio: Nottingham people say they do not think the beer festival will make a difference

Alcoholics Anonymous, a charity with an office in Nottingham, refused to comment. A spokesman said: “Alcoholic Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues and does not wish to be drawn into public controversy.”