Upmarket Italian chain Prezzo has today started £500,000 development works on the empty unit it will take in Kettering’s Market Place.
Prezzo has previously told the Telegraph the restaurant will be open within 10 weeks of work starting, so an Autumn opening is likely.
Prezzo chief executive Jonathan Kaye said: “We are looking forward to opening our new restaurant in Kettering. I am confident that it will prove popular with people of all ages.
“The restaurant will serve the highest quality food in comfortable and stylish surroundings and I am certain that it will be a good addition to the social scene in Kettering.”
In spring this year, the Council announced Prezzo was interested in taking Unit 2 of the Market Place buildings, which have been empty for about a year.
The chain has since been granted an alcohol licence.
Council leader Russell Roberts said: “We have demonstrated a huge amount of faith in our town, by forging ahead with plans to regenerate the market place in the current climate. However, we have seen strong and steady interest in Kettering, despite the dire economic climate generally.”
“Prezzo’s interest in our town helps to reinforce our view that Kettering is a place worth investing in.”
Ellandi, owners of Kettering’s Newlands Centre, welcomed the news.
Mark Robinson, of Ellandi, said: “We’re working hard to raise the offering and public profile of the Newland Centre and seeing a national restaurant chain open on the Market Place helps cement our investment.
“A stronger market place offering, along with an improved Newland Centre, helps nicely bracket the High Street ahead of any further improvements there.”
Between 15 to 20 jobs will be created at Prezzo.