WORK is progressing at full speed to bring The Ivy to Bournemouth town centre. 

The premium restaurant is expected to be finally opening “end of this year or early next year”, according to a spokesman for the chain. 

Paneling can be seen bordering the outside of the former New Look building in the Square that The Ivy is to occupy. Workmen and associated vans can also be seen doing work. 

Meanwhile, Troia UK Restaurants (the company behind The Ivy brand) has applied to BCP Council for alterations to its restaurant front and outside seating area. 

This includes an extended external seating area with additional seats and planters, six outside heaters and a new door to the building on the corner with Richmond Hill. 

Bournemouth Echo: Workmen outside The IvyWorkmen outside The Ivy (Image: Daily Echo)

Workers at the site have reportedly said it could take 15 weeks to finish the work on the building. 

Sources have told the Echo that the building, which has been empty since 2022, is “fragile” and suffering from structural problems. 

Kate Roberts, a planner for The Ivy, said: “The proposals seek to extend the external seating area in length to provide diners with additional choice and the opportunity to dine externally.  

“The depth of the seating area will remain the same and will still allow for passers-by to appreciate the contribution the site and its host building make to the street scene.” 

She added: “As such, there will be impact to the movement and circulation of pedestrians in the area however it will provide the opportunity for additional diners to enjoy and dwell within Bournemouth Square and create more life and vibrancy in this location.” 

The Ivy opened as a cafe in 1917 in London’s West End.   

When it was revealed bosses had applied for planning permission to move into Bournemouth in 2022, it was welcomed as an “injection of positivity” for the town centre, which had seen several big retailers and department stores close. 

Sir Conor Burns, Bournemouth West MP and chair of the Bournemouth Town Centre Action Partnership Group, said having an Ivy “would be a shot in the arm” for the town centre. 

Council leader Vikki Slade said it is “brilliant news for the town centre”, adding she believes it has turned a corner in the past year. 

BCP Council’s planning department will decide The Ivy’s requests in due course.