A FORMER Woolworths store in Newtown could be given a new lease of life as a bar and cafe if plans are given the go ahead.

Up to 19 jobs – nine full time and 10 part-time – could be created if the application to convert the large vacant retail shop on Broad Street is accepted.

The site has been vacant for three years and the plans include a bar and seating booth areas on the ground floor.

If the planning application is given the green light, the bar will be open from 11am to 3am from Monday to Friday, and 11am to 3.30am on Saturday and Sunday, as well as bank holidays.

The name of the new bar and cafe is not yet known.

The planning statement, by Roger Parry and Partners, is being submitted to support a planning application by Graham Morgan and said the development would “refurbish and bring life to the building again, by giving it an alternative use which is complementary to the high street”.

External changes to the building include bringing the doors forward to align with the window frontage, and changing the design of the windows to fit with the use. “In fact an updated frontage will be to the betterment of the street and town,” the planning statement said.

The building has been left empty since 2017 and was last occupied by fashion chain Store Twenty One which closed after the business was placed into liquidation.

The planning statement added: “Any retail loss within the town centre is a shame, but it has been empty for three years, which illustrates there is no demand and not viable for it.

“The benefit of an A3 use [food and drink], is that if the scheme gets approved, changing it back to A1 use [shops] would not require planning and therefore there will still be future scope for it to be retail again.”

“Any empty properties and buildings within the town centre, has an impact on the vibrancy, and therefore it is important to limit these in the centres as much as possible, by considering a multitude of uses”.

A decision to accept or decline the application is expected in mid July.