GLOBAL fast food giant Taco Bell appears close to opening its very first branch in Newport.

According to reports, the restaurant and takeaway company is set to expand in Wales, with a branch in Newport city centre.

At this time, the former Select clothing store at the Kingsway Shopping Centre, which opens out into John Frost Square appears to be its most likely location.

Situated at 6 John Frost Square, the unit has only been empty a matter of weeks, when Select shut its doors for the final time.

Since then, work was carried out, first to remove all remains of the clothing store, and then to completely hollow out the premises ready for its new use.

And, while a representative for Taco Bell in the UK has stopped short of confirming this news, there are a few signs that suggest that the popular eaterie could be on its way.

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Taco Bell in Newport: What we know so far

Shortly before Select closed, the building owners, Kingsway Investments LLP, applied for planning permission to change the premises use from retail to a 24-hour restaurant and takeaway.

In the summer, Newport City Council gave these plans the green light.

Since then, there have been reports that Taco Bell held informal recruitment sessions elsewhere in the Kingsway Shopping Centre, while social media speculation mounted.

Another clue that Taco Bell might be setting up shop here can be found in one of the most obvious places – on Google.

A search for Taco Bell Newport comes up with two results.

One is fairly self-explanatory – the existing Cardiff branch at the Dragon Retail Park – on Newport Road.

Meanwhile, the other, is said to be located at 6 John Frost Square, Kingsway Centre, Newport NP20 1HZ – the site of the currently vacant Select store.

South Wales Argus: A Google business location for Taco Bell in the city centreA Google business location for Taco Bell in the city centre

But, perhaps the biggest clue that Taco Bell is soon coming to Newport is a number of job vacancies posted online.

Listed on recruitment website Indeed, Taco Bell and franchisee Campana Ltd – who also operate both Cardiff branches, are recruiting a restaurant general manager, shift leader/manager, assistant general manager, and team members for a location in Newport.

No location for this branch is given, though the postcode matches the Kingsway Shopping centre, and applicants “must be able to commute in and out of the city centre.”

But, while all signs point to the restaurant coming, and fairly soon, at that, a spokeswoman for Taco Bell stopped short of confirming the news.

She told the Argus: “We don’t have any further information to share at this time.”