A leading coffee shop chain has announced two new branches coming to Hartlepool with a third due to open next year.
Costa Coffee is opening a shop in Middleton Grange shopping centre next month, which will create eight to 10 jobs.
Work is going on at the unit, next to BHS, which has been vacant for many years apart from a couple of short-lived uses.
A spokesman said: “Costa, the nation’s favourite coffee shop brand, are pleased to announce that we are opening a new store in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, in July, bringing eight to ten new jobs to the local area. “
Costa has also confirmed it is opening a second outlet in town at Anchor Retail Park in early August.
The spokesman added: “This is an existing Next store that is being extended with addition of a mezzanine.”
Denise Ogden, director of regeneration and neighbourhoods for Hartlepool Borough, said at a recent meeting the Costa plans were a sign of the town’s economic growth.
The Mail reported in February how another new Costa outlet with drive-through is coming to the new Vision Retail Park, formerly the Highlight Retail Park, off Marina Way.
It is part of a revamp of the retail park by owners M Seven.
Middleton Grange centre manager Mark Rycraft confirmed that Costa Coffee had now begun work to fit out the interior of its new Hartlepool outlet.
“The work is likely to take several weeks, and no official opening date has yet been announced,” said Mark. “Everyone at the centre is excited that Costa will soon be opening here, and following hot on the heels of more than a dozen new retailers in the last year - including Pandora and H&M - all coming to the centre, it underlines the confidence that retailers have in the future of Middleton Grange.”
The 2,725 sq ft Costa Coffee is situated opposite H&M just off Central Square on the ground floor of the centre.