First image of £12m Bath restaurant scheme
Work has started on a £12 million scheme which will create up to seven new restaurants in the centre of Bath.
Developer Multi has begun constructing the flagship restaurant of The Vaults, the last phase of its £360 million SouthGate centre.
This will see six other restaurant units created in the vaults under the 19th-century railway station – four large ones and two medium-sized ones.
Because operators may take more than one unit and join them up, Multi expects to end up with five or six restaurants in total, all open for business by September 2012.
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The firm is talking to a number of restaurant operators and says there has been keen interest in the development, which involves the controversial removal of the ramp to the London-bound platform.
The flagship restaurant will sit on top of the car park area at the station, and the main access will be by lift from the ground level.
There will also be four kiosk catering units in The Vaults.
Multi development director Jon Munce said: “We’re very excited about it and we’ve had a lot of interest from restaurant operators, although no deals have been done yet.
“They are all good quality operators and our view could be that there should be a mix of nationals and independents, but ultimately it will be commercially driven.”
He said the ramp would be excavated in layers, with the possibility the process could be started before Christmas.
Multi sees the scheme as complementary to the other restaurants in SouthGate such as Jimmy Spices, Giraffe and the Cosy Club.
Mr Munce said: “It’s a fundamental part of the scheme and helps it achieve critical mass. We’re just disappointed that we couldn’t have done it at the same time as the main scheme.”
The cost of the scheme also includes improvements to the station itself, where a new entrance system has been introduced and a new lift.