POPULAR restaurant chain TGI Fridays are hoping their Middlebrook restaurant will be open by the end of March.

Construction workers are currently fitting out the new restaurant, at the site of the former Next store next to Vue Cinema.

According to the planning application, the restaurant will create 80 jobs.

A cover letter from Graham Bee, group planning manager at The Emerson Group, the company that submitted the application on behalf of TGI Fridays, said that the external seating area would be used for food and drinks.

It read: “TGI Fridays would be an excellent restaurant offer to have at Middlebrook and would be entirely complementary to the retail, restaurant and leisure uses that already exist.”

TGI Fridays is the latest chain to move to Middlebrook, following the likes of Card Factory, Tapi Carpets and the region's first Thomas Cook Discovery Store in late 2018.

A lot of space opened up at the retail park due to the £12million Next superstore in July.

Staff from the three former Next outlet stores were relocated to the bigger store, allowing other businesses to move in.

In October, Robert Hallworth, the director of Middlebrook Retail Park described TGI Fridays as a "wonderful anchor tenant" for the park.

He said: “We are extremely excited for the arrival of our new stores.

“Early 2019 will see the opening of TGI Fridays which is a wonderful anchor tenant to have and has proven popular on our social media sites."