HUNDREDS of jobs are being created with the re-opening of Bobby’s department store in Bournemouth.

Verve Properties, which is bringing back the famous brand in the next few weeks, says around 260 posts will be available.

Work on the store, in the former Debenhams building in the Square, is going on at pace.

The Echo revealed in April that Bobby’s was making a comeback nearly half a century after it disappeared from the town.

The move is a huge boost for the town centre’s revitalisation and set to be transformational for the Square.

Ashley Nicholson, Verve director, said:“Bobby’s has historically always been at the heart of the town centre and the community.

“So we’re truly delighted to be able to bring a good news story of job creation to our high street when so many retail areas across the UK are in decline.

“We can’t wait to recruit a crew who will help us make Bobby’s part of a town centre that really does serve the local community.”

He added the headcount would continue to grow as more elements of the store open up over 2021-22.

Previous Debenhams staff who worked at the store are being given priority, the firm said.

The recruitment drive will be implemented ahead of the first parts of the newly restored building opening up.

The first to open will be a traditional ice cream and coffee parlour, followed by the official phase one opening which will welcome Bobby’s Beauty Hall, an art gallery, and a dog café in the Lower Gardens.

More elements of the beauty hall will be added during the summer.

The next phase, later in 2021 will see a food hall, a sushi and plant-based poke bar, treatment rooms, and female and male grooming.

Verve Properties also owns and operates the Avenue Centre in nearby Commercial Road.

Bobby & Co opened in Bournemouth Square in May 1915 but became Debenhams in 1972.

Verve says building will be restored as closely as possible to its original architectural splendour.

On the first floor, the large windows overlooking the Square will be opened up, new balconies installed.

Old buildings at the rear will feature a garden area, a micro-brewery and craft ale smokery bar.

There will be a fourth floor restaurant and bar and roof terrace bar.

The opening date has not yet been announced.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader, said: “The incredible plans for Bobby’s have been gaining international recognition, not just for their innovative investment, but also for the boost of confidence they demonstrate for our area.

“We’ve seen a phenomenal bounce back to our local high streets and are working to see this continue in the future.

“To see the additional jobs that this development will create is a further boon – especially since many will hopefully come from previous Debenhams staff.

"I’m really excited about this and other investments coming in; as where investment comes, jobs follow.”