AN EMPTY unit in a prime spot on Winchester's high street is set to become an upmarket restaurant, creating 100 new jobs.

Applicants Troia Restaurants have submitted a plans to open a branch of The Ivy, which specialises in fine dining.

Until recently, the store at 103-104 on the high street was occupied by clothes shop L.K Bennett, but it closed its doors in September due to high rent and business rates.

It joined a number of other well-known and independent brands leaving the city, including Zoe Jewellers, Next and Jaegar.

In July, fashion retailer Cadogan and Co, which has been in business for more than 20 years in The Square, also went into administration.

But at the same time Turtle Bay is due to move in at the former Toni and Guy site and TK Maxx are also set to open a new shop in The Brooks Shopping Centre.

Tesco is also set to move into the unit where River Island used to sit on the High Street.

The Ivy is already established in London and venues across the UK including Covent Garden, Bath and Tunbridge Wells.

If the application is approved, the Winchester premises will employ around 100 staff, and will be open for breakfast from 8am until the evening.

The ground floor will feature the restaurant, while there will be office space on the first, second and third floors.

The scheme will be decided by Winchester City Council by November 13.