American fast food chain Wendy’s is planning to open a new outlet in Commercial Road, in Portsmouth’s city centre at the former Burton’s store opposite the Jubilee Fountain.
The burger chain is aiming to open dozens of outlets across the UK this year as part of a European expansion. The business has been welcomed by the leader of Portsmouth City Council who said it showed businesses had ‘confidence’ in the future of the city centre.
Planning permission was granted to JKR Restaurants at the end of last year for the installation of a ventilation system to allow the unit to be converted into a restaurant. In March a second planning application was approved allowing new glazed windows to be installed alongside new entrance doors and fire exits.
Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of the council said:
“This is one of the first signs that our plans to regenerate the city centre are having an impact,’ he added. ‘We’ve already seen River Island move to a bigger store and the fact we’ve been getting outbid when trying to buy these empty units is another good sign.
‘We still want to see more diversification of the high street and more independent businesses moving in but that’s going to require the government to make changes to business rates.’
Wendy’s already has 14 operating branches in the UK, most of which are in and around London.