PLANS are being laid to open an offshoot of the famous London restaurant the Ivy in Bournemouth’s former New Look store.

The news has been welcomed as an “injection of positivity” for the town centre, which has seen several big retailers close in recent months.

Troia (UK) Restaurants has applied to BCP Council for a licence to sell alcohol and play recorded music at “premises to be known as the Ivy” off the Square.

Opening hours would be from 8am to 1.30am seven days a week.

The Ivy Collection is a series of restaurants, brasseries and cafes based on the famous restaurant in London’s West End.

BCP Council’s deputy leader Cllr Phil Broadhead said: “We have been aware for some time that the Ivy have been looking to open in Bournemouth and have been searching for the right property. It’s brilliant that they’ve now gone public with their plans.

“This is exactly the injection of positivity that our high streets need.

"Our main town centres are evolving from somewhere that you did your weekly shopping to destinations to spend time with friends and family. Department stores are transforming into art galleries and flexible spaces, and chain shops are becoming high end, world class restaurants.

“It is particularly exciting to see this offer come to the Square, which will really help to drive the type of quality environment we’re creating.”

New Look closed in February after the store’s landlord ended the lease in order to bring in a new tenant.

The retailer's landlords were given more scope to end its leases in 2020, when the Weymouth-based fashion chain sought a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to reduce its debts.

The arrangement included “enhanced landlord breaks”, allowing landlords to oust the retailer “if they believe they can identify an alternative tenant on improved terms”.

Paul Kinvig, chief operating officer of Bournemouth Town Centre Business Improvement District, said: “I think it’s a really positive development. It’s good that a premium brand like the Ivy want to come to Bournemouth.

“I think what’s happening in every big town and city is the attraction is becoming as much leisure and hospitality as retail.”

The Ivy Collection declined to comment on its plans for Bournemouth.

Its website says: “The Ivy Collection restaurants bring the inimitable service and vibrant surroundings for which The Ivy is loved and revered to a select group of upmarket brasseries and neighbourhood cafes.

“Each restaurant has been designed to deliver memorable experience that is synonymous with the Ivy’s unique style, and extend the magic of our celebrated West Street venue to handpicked locations across London and the UK.

“Menus feature modern British dishes drawn from The Ivy’s own extensive menu so, whether you are looking for afternoon tea or a three-course meal, you can be sure of excellence in both quality and choice.”

The public has until April 26 to submit comments on the restaurant's licensing application to BCP Council.