Better late than never, some will say as it is announced that the former Co-op department store building will go from being deserted to hosting desserts and pizza.
Kaspa’s Desserts has taken on Unit D at Chapel Street Dining, the restaurant quarter in the Swan Centre, and is expected to open at the end of summer.
Unit B of the building is under offer to pizza and pasta chain Wildwood restaurant, although an opening date has not yet been given.
David Walton, head of retail for Harris Lamb, said: “We’re delighted that Kaspa’s Desserts has chosen to extend its national presence by investing in a Rugby location.
“As a popular ice-cream parlour chain, the business has an attractive offering that is sure to attract a strong customer-base keen to experience its take on sweet treats.
“With Midlands sites already located in West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Derby amongst others, the business’s decision to locate a parlour in Rugby means it will be part of the town’s ongoing renaissance.
“With significant investment being ploughed into the area, this is a key time to establish a foothold in the town.”
Caracal Properties, which bought the Swan Centre last summer in a £3 million deal, retained Harris Lamb property consultants.
Mr Walton said: “Caracal is regenerating the Swan centre, and the dedicated restaurant quarter is an ideal site for new and established eateries to take on a prime town centre location benefitting from high levels of footfall and complementary neighbouring businesses.”
The announcement comes over a year after Caracal was granted planning permission to turn the former co-operative building into four restaurants.
In March 2017, a spokesperson for the owner of the Swan Centre told the Advertiser that the new tenants for the building would be revealed shortly, with the site expected be open in the early summer of that year.
The news of the cavernous building’s transformation was greeted with great enthusiasm.
Managing director of Rugby First, Aftab Gaffar, previously told the Advertiser: “This is great news for the town centre and a fantastic boost to the local economy.
“Not only will this development enhance the town-centre offer but it also has the potential to create a lot of full and part-time jobs.”
At the same time, Cllr Heather Timms said: “The development marks a major investment in Rugby town centre and I’m delighted the council, working with Rugby First, was able to support Caracal Properties’ plans to bring this prime retail unit back into use.”