WORK to transform a former clothes shop into a Taco Bell restaurant in Newport city centre has continued at great pace, with the confirmed opening just days away.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the former Select fashion retailer at the Kingsway Shopping Centre would be transformed into a fast food restaurant and takeaway – with Taco Bell touted as the likely new occupier of the space, which opens out onto John Frost Square.

The American food chain had so far stopped short of confirming the location of their planned Newport branch, instead advertising vacancies at a city centre location.

But now, Taco Bell has confirmed that they are indeed setting up shop at Unit 38 of the Kingsway Centre – a restaurant which is set to open on Friday, December 17.

Taco Bell has confirmed this news on their UK website.

Work to transform the store continues, and crews face a race against time to have the unit ready for their launch day.

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Since the closure of Select, significant progress has been made, with the store first completely restored to a concrete shell.

In recent days, a distinct kitchen area has been seen to have been created inside, where the brand’s signature tacos and burritos will be cooked and served.

Currently, it would appear as though the front of house requires the most work.

That being said, the unit at the Kingsway has remained a hub of activity today (Wednesday, December 15), with work ongoing in preparation of launch day.

At this time, the franchise holder for the new store is hiring staff for their Newport location.

According to a series of postings on recruitment website Indeed, Campana Ltd – who run the Taco Bell franchises in Cardiff, are looking for a variety of roles to be filled in Newport city centre.

These range from a general manager, to shift managers.

Previously, team member roles were seen to be advertised, though these appear to have been filled at this time.

What's more, a new licensing application has been submitted to Newport City Council.

If approved, the sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from Monday to Sunday 10am to midnight and for the provision of late night refreshment from Monday to Sunday 11pm to 5am will be allowed.

Taco Bell has been contacted for further information.