An Italian restaurant in the town centre which closed during the Covid-19 pandemic could be transformed into a takeaway, shop and flats.

Warrant Investments Plc have applied to turn the closed down Ask Italian restaurant on St Mary’s Butts into a mixed-use site.

The closed ground floor restaurant would be subdivided into a takeaway unit and shop unit, with the first and second floors changed to four flats.

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The businesses that would take over the ground floor units have not yet been established.

Two of the flats would be one-bed and the other two would have two bedrooms.

The restaurant is likely to be one of 75 Ask Italian and Zizzi pizza chains across the UK that will not re-open following the coronavirus lockdown.

The dining sector has been knocked hard by the lockdown and pandemic, with a raft of restaurants having announced closures and jobs losses in recent weeks after seeing sales decimated.

READ MORE: Zizzi and Ask Italian owner to shut around 75 restaurants

The Azzuri Group is being taken over by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which plans to keep open 225 restaurants and shops, protecting 5,000 jobs.

Steve Holmes, the chief executive of Azzurri Group, which also owns the Coco di Mama and Pod fast-food chains, said in July the Covid-19 crisis has had “a profound impact on the casual dining sector, bringing many businesses like ours to a standstill”.

“Despite being a successful operator, the immediate loss of revenue during lockdown meant that we have had to make some incredibly difficult decisions to protect the business for the long term,” he said.

“It is with deep sadness that this process will result in the permanent closure of a number of sites and that we must say goodbye to greatly valued employees across our brands.

“Looking forwards, TowerBrook is a strong new partner who shares our ambitions for the future.

“Their additional investment has enabled us to preserve the majority of our restaurants, stores and jobs and I am confident that, under TowerBrook’s ownership, Azzurri will navigate the period ahead successfully.”