TWO new eateries are set to take over former retail units in the heart of Bournemouth.

Creams Cafe - an ice-cream parlour - is set to take over the former Bath Travel store at Albert Road and pizzeria Franco Manca is due to move into the former men’s department of Debenhams in the Square.

The former travel agent site was meant to be taken over by Base + Barley - a sourdough and craft beer company - which had been granted approval in the summer of 2016.

However, a spokesman for the chain, which has sites in Exeter and Cardiff, told the Daily Echo in October that the firm was “still 50/50” over the move.

Now, Creams Cafe, which is also based in Charminster Road, is set to take over the site selling milkshakes, ice-cream, waffles and coffee.

Its franchisee, Yasser Ghaibeh, said he is investing nearly £500,000 to refurbish what will be his second business property which will have taken around three months to completely renovate by the time it opens. 

He hopes to have it open by the end of May or the start of June, he said, and will be employing somewhere in the region of 20-30 members of staff depending on the season.

He is opening the eaterie along with co-franchisee, Salim Kalsh. 

Selling 38 different flavours of ice-cream, Mr Ghaibeh said he was “very excited” at the prospect of moving to the town centre where he will also install a soft play area for young children.

“There is going to be a lot of entertainment in the shop, not just desserts,” he said.

Franco Manca, which specialises in sourdough pizza, has a menu of just six pizzas with a variety of ingredients, side salads and drinks.

The company also operates a takeaway menu.

It is due to open on May 11, a spokesman for the company said. However they were unable to provide any further details - including the number of covers, details of refurbishment or number of employees - at the time of going to press.

The cafe and restaurant are the latest additions to the high street to take over former retail units.

Sandwich giant Pret a Manger is set to open at the former Miss Selfridge, next door to Debenhams, and French restaurant Côte Brasserie was granted approval to take over the former Austin Reed shop on Westover Road by civic chiefs last week.

Officers had stated that the agreement was contrary to the borough’s policy on retaining retail space but councillors argued there were exceptional circumstances for ignoring the policy.