COUNCILLORS have welcomed the impending arrival of a new fast food restaurant as work on the £18 million development gets underway.

The forthcoming Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Newtown will create about 50 job opportunities for the area which councillors say will provide a ‘fantastic’ boost for employment.

The globally recognised fast food chain is set to open its doors, including a drive-thru service, on the site of the old Co-op store on Pool Road next April.

Newtown councillor Richard White said: “I very much welcome KFC coming here and I am glad work on the site has now started.

“It will tidy up an otherwise ugly site and hopefully it will encourage more people into town as well as creating valuable job opportunities in the area, so I look forward to seeing it open.”

Town councillors voted in favour of the development in March this year before diggers moved in earlier this month.

The restaurant will feature the latest KFC drive-thru building and internal designs while all employees working inside its walls will be from the local area.

Cllr Joy Jones, county councillor for Newtown, said: “I am absolutely thrilled this is finally going ahead after years of work to help make it happen.

“It will be good for local employment and become a great asset for Newtown.

“Hopefully it will bring a number of businesses into the town along with it and also help increase the number of visitors.

“It is fantastic that something is happening on that site as it has been an eyesore for so long,” she added.

Approximately £1.8 million has been invested into the former Co-op site.

A KFC spokesman said: “We are delighted to be opening a new restaurant in Newtown, due to open in April 2016. 

“The restaurant will create approximately 50 career opportunities in the local community, and we look forward to welcoming residents into the restaurant.”