Plans to turn a former cinema into a 97-bed Premier Inn hotel in Basildon town centre have been approved by Basildon Council.

The four-storey hotel will include a restaurant and bar and a retail space all set in a T-shaped building.

It is hoped 45 new jobs will be created by the development, and a three-year deadline has been imposed on the developer to begin work.

Ian Butt, project director for the redevelopment of Basildon Town Centre, said: ‘This hotel will enhance a run-down part of the town centre and add vitality and interest to this part of the town.

‘It will also provide much needed accommodation for business visitors and tourists coming to the area, as well as providing new jobs.

‘The scheme fits in with the major redevelopment of the whole of the town centre and is further proof that Basildon remains resilient through the credit crunch and continues to attract private sector investment.'

Premier Inns already run two other hotels in Basildon.