NATIONAL pizza chain Domino's has become the first firm to reveal an intention to be part of the retail offering at the re-developed Tiverton and District Hospital site.
The takeaway pizza firm says it hopes to create between 25 and 30 new jobs in Tiverton, with the business set to trade by early 2013 if planning permission is granted.
The former hospital building has now been demolished and groundworks have begun on the redevelopment of the site.
Devonshire Homes is building 25 homes there on the site as well as providing retail space on the ground floor at the corner of Bampton Street and William Street.
Domino's spokesperson Angie Lawrence said the company was always looking for new opportunities.
She said: "We identified Tiverton as having great potential for pizza."
Any new outlet would require delivery drivers, as well as a manager, customer service representatives, oven tenders and pizza makers, she said.
As their premises tend to have late opening hours, they needed a sizeable workforce to cover shifts.
She also sought to reassure local residents about the impact the store would have on them. "Domino's Pizza takes its role as a responsible neighbour very seriously," she said.
If planning is granted, the firm hopes to open the store early next year.
Domino's currently has nearly 750 outlets in the UK and Ireland, with Exeter and Taunton currently the nearest to Tiverton.
The news the company is coming to Tiverton came in the same week it announced plans for a major European expansion. The firm bought the licence to operate in Switzerland as well as taking up an option on an Austrian business, having already moved into the German market last year.
Tiverton town councillor Sue Griggs, who chairs the Tiverton Traders Association, said a large company investing in Tiverton was good news.
"I am very excited about this," she said.
"National chains coming to a town helps attract more nationals to consider coming to the town and food and drink is one of the better performing sectors of the economy at the moment."
Tiverton town councillor Jeff Rawlings, who runs a balloon and party shop on Bampton Street, also gave the news a cautious welcome.
He said: "The creation of more jobs in the town is good, but obviously this development is still at a very early stage and we are waiting to see the plans for the premises."