A LEADING French restaurant group has been given the go ahead to convert a seafront shelter along Worthing seafront.

Bistrot Pierre is the successful bidder for a long term lease and wants to convert and expand it into a state-of-the-art restaurant overlooking the beach opposite West Buildings.

The scheme will be out to public consultation ahead of it going for planning permission and it is expected to open summer 2019.

Rob Beacham co-owner for Bistrot Pierre, who set up the group with school friend John Whitehead, said: “We’ve had our sights set on Worthing for some time now so we’re delighted to have been selected by Worthing Borough Council to open a bistrot in such a great location directly on the seafront.

“Steaks-frites, boeuf bourguignon, moules marinière and crème brûlée are all very popular on our menus and we’re looking forward to bringing these dishes, along with many others to the town.

“We take regular trips to France to inspire our seasonally-updated menus with authentic ingredients carefully prepared by our talented chefs.

“Each bistrot is slightly different and the group prides itself on creating a unique dining experience for customers at every location.

“This bistrot will be a welcome addition to our portfolio of coastal bistrots in Swansea Bay, Torquay and Weston-super-Mare where we are bringing delicious French favourites to diners in stunning locations with breath-taking coastal views.”

Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins said he was delighted the process to put both the shelter at West Buildings and a second at Steyne Gardens on the other side of the pier out to tender had resulted in high quality applications.

He said: “This was a strong field of applicants and I am delighted Bistrot Pierre has won through with a first class submission,.

“There’s more to be done but I look forward to seeing their plans for the site and am sure they will bring forward a high-quality design given what they have produced elsewhere in the country.

“As a council we are determined to drive through significant improvements to our seafront offer.

“We will not sit still but want to modernise our offer while not forgetting its traditional delights.

“I expect this development and that at the Steyne Gardens shelter to be game changers.”

The restaurant group, which as well as the Mumbles has outlets in Birmingham, Nottingham and Bath among others was founded by school friends Rob Beacham and John Whitehead.