FORMER soldier Steve Nordlund wants to open a new restaurant in the heart of Devizes by transforming the old Age UK building in the Market Place.

Mr Nordlund, who previously was a partner in Brogan’s cafe in The Brittox, Devizes has applied to Wiltshire Council for planning permission to use Cromwell House as an eatery.

Agents for Mr Nordland, 53, said: “During the daytime it is intended that tea, cakes and lighter meals would be available with a more extensive menu offered in the evening.

“The basement would be dedicated to the kitchen and customer toilets with the first-floor providing the main dining area.

“The second floor will offer over-spill seating and also provide a dedicated space for larger groups wishing to hire a room for parties and celebrations. The third floor is to be occupied separately by a therapist and will provide office and consulting rooms .

“Access to this will be through the rear entrance.”

Cromwell House, which was once the town’s tourist office and before that a hotel, is grade II listed. Planning consultants RCC say in a report that the change of use would be good for the town. It says: “The operation of this large property as a restaurant will ensure the listed building remains in active use and will add to the vitality and viability of Devizes town centre.”

Mr Norland served for 22 years in the Royal Logistics Corps . His work as an army chef took him to trouble spots such as Sierra Leone, The Falklands and Afghanistan but after leaving the military, where he cooked for the Queen at special functions, he decided to use his experience by setting up a chain of cafes with Mark Graham.

Mr Graham still runs Brogans in Devizes but Mr Nordlund is no longer involved with the business. He said previously: “If we can keep the guys on the front-line happy and smiling then we must have something we can turn into a commercial venture.”