COVID may have closed a national chain in Newport, but an Isle of Wight company is not letting it stay empty for long.

Plans have been unveiled for the former Pizza Express restaurant, in the centre of Newport on Pyle Street to be turned into a bar, called Wyld.

Applicant Josh Peverley of Wyld Events, is seeking permission to change the signs on the front and side of the building to the name of the bar.

Mr Peverley said by submitting the application, he is a step closer towards investing and regenerating a prominent building in Newport’s town centre.

It still requires a change of use application.

Isle of Wight County Press: (Picture: Josh Peverley)(Picture: Josh Peverley)

He said: "Newport has seen some significant investment into its hospitality sector in recent years and I’m incredibly excited at the thought of being part of that.

"The first set of plans submitted for the site outline my idea to bring a unique bar experience, showcasing a vibrant pink design with neon statement touches throughout, to the Isle of Wight, and somewhere I hope to be at the heart of the community too.

"Alongside this, there’s the opportunity for new permanent jobs, as well as opportunities for local suppliers and contractors to build strong working relationships with."

The signs for Wyld also include the French phrases for 'here is the disco' and 'celebrate every day'.

Isle of Wight County Press: The former Pizza Express restaurant. (Picture: Google Maps)The former Pizza Express restaurant. (Picture: Google Maps)

Owners of the national Pizza Express chain announced in August last year the Island's only franchise would be one of the 73 restaurants in the UK to close.

It was part of a financial restructuring that cut more than 1,000 jobs but 'protected' more than 9,000.

Isle of Wight County Press: The current look of the building, with Pizza Express signs removed.The current look of the building, with Pizza Express signs removed.

Another national pizza and pasta chain, Prezzo, also closed its doors on Newport High Street, leaving the former Post Office site empty once again.

To view the plans for the Wyld outdoor signs, visit the council's planning register.

Comments on the 'Wyld' application, 21/00946/ADV, will be accepted until June 16.