PLANS by a major food and drink chain to move into a prominent empty unit in the city centre have been welcomed by civic leaders.

The company Loungers is moving into the former Topshop unit on English Street in Carlisle city centre, one of the most prominent empty lots in the city, with plans to turn it into a new all-day dining establishment.

Loungers operates both bar venues, under the name Cosy Club, and cafés under the name Lounge, and it's the latter which will be taking on the space.

A spokesperson from Loungers plc said the new 'Bordo Lounge' will create 25 jobs and will open in November 2023.

It will be open all day, every day for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks, including full kids’, gluten-free and vegan menus, served in a 'relaxed, welcoming space'.

Loungers has also acquired three other lots in the north and north-west, such as a former Argos in Hexham and a closed-down Barclays in Nantwich.

The Hexham site will see the West Country-based company open 'Muro Lounge' at the end of August this year.

The mayor of Carlisle and the managing director of the county's chamber of commerce have praised the plan as something that will add much-needed vibrancy to Carlisle's leisure offer.

News and Star: A promo pic for another Lounge location, an example of what it could look like in Carlisle.A promo pic for another Lounge location, an example of what it could look like in Carlisle. (Image: Loungers PLC)

The incumbent mayor of Carlisle, Cllr Abdul Harid, spoke of his excitement for the plan: “It’s great news for the city and the people of Carlisle.

“It will provide vital services for the city, local people, and people who will visit and will be in an ideal place.

“An empty plot of that size gives a bad image of the city, the fewer empty places the better.”

Suzanne Caldwell, the managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is great news.

“It’s a really prominent site in the city centre so its development will have a noticeable impact on the look and feel of the very centre of the city, which has been becoming increasingly bleak.

“The building itself would make a great café/bar and we’re excited to see it happening.

“Let’s hope it’s followed by more positive developments.”