McDonald’s serves up £4.8m economic boost

Tim Lamb, pictured outside one of his McDonald's restaurants.

Tim Lamb, pictured outside one of his McDonald's restaurants. - Credit: Archant

THE most famous name in fast food is celebrating 40 years in 2014 – and has revealed its near-£5million impact on the Weston economy.

Globally-renowned burger chain McDonald’s first came to the UK in 1974, and opened its first Weston restaurant in Regent Street in May 1988.

There are now three branches in the town, including one in Worle and one off Winterstoke Road, collectively employing 250 people and contributing £4.8million a year to the town’s economy.

All three franchises are run by Tim Lamb, who began his McDonald’s career in 1983, and now runs all four North Somerset restaurants, with the fourth in Portishead.

He said: “As a local businessman, I am proud to play a part in Weston and the wider community.

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“From supporting local young people into employment to offering a ladder of learning to all of my staff, I believe you only get out of a community what you put in.

“I’m thrilled to see the impact my team has helped make to the area.”

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The new financial figures were independently researched after McDonald’s senior bosses decided to take stock of the UK company’s achievements to date.

Chief executive Jill McDonald said: “To mark our 40 years in the UK we wanted to take a close look at our economic and community impact, from the jobs we have created to the world leading supply chain we have built.

“I’m incredibly proud of the investments we have been able to make and how our franchisees and employees are at the heart of hundreds of communities across the UK.”

That approach is typified in Weston by 51-year-old Karen Upward, who quit her job as a bus inspector to begin work at McDonald’s – and has quickly risen through the ranks.

Karen, who is now the people manager across Mr Lamb’s four North Somerset restaurants, said: “I never joined with aspirations of going further than being a crew member but the job has changed my outlook on life.

“I feel so much more confident both in and outside of work and I now relish opportunities like public speaking which I used to dread.

“I was Tim’s first apprentice and now – three years after completing it – I’m supporting people through the programme myself.

“I love to see people achieving something and helping to build their confidence and for young people that may have left school without qualifications, it’s nice to see them gain something worthwhile.”

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