A FRENCH brasserie and bistro with a Parisian theme is set to open in Basingstoke.

Cote Restaurants has applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council asking for permission to install a sign and menu boards outside a unit in Festival Place previously occupied by Ed’s Easy Diner.

The chain, which also has branches in Winchester, Newbury and Farnham, offers relaxed all-day dining, serving authentic French classics made from fresh ingredients, such as corn-fed chicken from the heart of rural Brittany, pork rillettes and Charentais melons direct from Rungis market in Paris and Breton tomatoes and mussels.

Its specials change each month, depending on what is in season, giving customers something new to try such as whole grilled lobster, cote de boeuf or scallops.

The new restaurant is part of various improvement works being carried out by the owners of Festival Place, who have applied to the council to update the outside area of the shopping centre, where the restaurants are located, to “consolidate its position within the regional marketplace”.

Works will include a ground floor extension to the unit previously occupied by Ed’s Easy Diner, and installation of a retractable canopy and external seating area in Market Walk.

The application states that the owners of Festival Place, AEW Europe, is undertaking a programme of improvements to the centre after buying it for £290 million in 2016.

This includes “improvements to the retail offer and revitalisation of St John’s Square and Wote Street”.

It added that the proposal forms part of a wider aspiration to “improve its operation and attractiveness of Festival Place shopping centre”.

The application, submitted in March, seeks to reinvigorate Festival Square and make it more attractive by removing dated glass canopies and replacing them with modern, retractable canvas canopies.

The work will include installing revolving entrance doors and swing doors to “improve the customer environment on entering the shopping centre” and create seating along the walkway past Wagamamas.

The application states: “The intention of the proposal is to strengthen the existing restaurant and leisure quarter within Festival Square and create an improved high-quality public space which is easily navigable and creates a pleasant area for customers to dwell.”

It adds: “The proposed development will assist in ensuring the continued vitality and viability of Basingstoke’s town centre retail, restaurant and leisure offer”.

A statement from Festival Place said: “As part of the ongoing refurbishment works at Festival Place we’re having exciting discussions with a number of potential brands that we know will appeal to Basingstoke and will further boost the exciting line-up at the centre. We’re looking forward to announcing new names in due course, in the coming months.”