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More than 20 jobs to be created as restaurant chain takes unit

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

Prezzo's arrival will add to a food and leisure mix at White River Place in St Austell, which includes Costa Coffee, the Eden Project Cafe and Frankie & Benny's

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National Italian food chain Prezzo has chosen White River Place shopping centre in St Austell as the location for its latest restaurant.

Shopping centre owner Ellandi has invested nearly £500,000 in the unit, where fit out work on the 3,200 sq ft restaurant will start in the New Year.

More than 20 jobs are expected to be created by the spring opening of the restaurant in Aylmer Square, which will be the second Prezzo in Cornwall.

Mike Wimble, of Ellandi, said: "This exciting new letting brings another major national chain into St Austell and is a vote of confidence in White River Place shopping centre and in the town centre itself.

"It is a direct result of the strategy set out by Ellandi when we purchased White River Place, which was to help drive the development of a broader food and leisure offer in the town centre. Another aim is to encourage a more vibrant evening economy in St Austell, which we have supported by reducing unlimited parking after 4pm to only £1."

The restaurant will add to the food and leisure offering already established at the shopping centre, which includes Costa Coffee, Eden Project Cafe, Frankie & Benny's restaurant and the White River Place Cinema.

Prezzo chief executive, Jonathan Kaye said: "We are delighted to be opening a new restaurant in White River Place, St Austell. We are confident that Prezzo will prove popular with diners in St Austell of all ages and will be an asset to the shopping centre and the town."

News of the restaurant's arrival comes as White River Place has announced the appointment of Richard Hurst as its new centre manager.

Mr Hurst will take up his post at the start of January, bringing more than 20 years of experience in retail and customer services.

For the past four years he has been working as operations manager at the award-winning Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich, and has previously worked for several airports, including Heathrow.

As well as overseeing day to day management of the centre, Mr Hurst's role will focus on working with Ellandi on the continuing development of White River Place's to fill vacant units, increase footfall and develop the centre's involvement with activity in the wider St Austell area.

"White River Place has a key role to play at the heart of the local community, and it is a great opportunity for me to bring my skills and experience to benefit not just White River Place, but the whole town," Mr Hurst said.

"The success of White River Place is inextricably linked to the success of the wider town, and so by aiming to fill shop vacancies and increase footfall we can increase trade for businesses across St Austell and sell the area as an exciting destination to both local people and visitors from further afield."

Mr Wimble, of Ellandi, said: "The investments we are making in the centre and in bringing such a highly experienced new manager here demonstrate our commitment to the success of White River Place and St Austell town centre."

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