Bill’s Café and Produce Store will open in the Old Town Hall “by December”, according to Horsham District Council.
A council spokesman said: “Horsham, especially East Street, has become renowned in the last few years for its café culture and its number of diverse restaurants and coffee shops. The arrival of Bill’s will see at least another £1 million of private investment made to enhance that reputation. This will enliven a historically underused building and save the council taxpayer from having to renovate and maintain it over the coming years.”
Cllr Helena Croft, district council Cabinet member, said: “The biggest of welcomes to Bill’s! It is the very best of news that Bill’s is coming to Horsham town to provide its famously high-quality products and service. I’m sure this new arrival will be eagerly anticipated by both local residents and visitors.”
Owner Bill Collison told The Resident in July: “We’ll give the Horsham site loads of love and attention. It has been sitting empty for years and we’ll make Horsham proud of what we do with it. This is my home county too and I support the local community and economy in any way I can. I’m going to give Horsham something great.
“Wherever we open a restaurant, we take great care to ensure it reflects the town we are in and what the customers want. Each one of our restaurants has subtle differences. In Wimbledon we opened in an old Mexican Restaurant and in Brighton we used an old bus depot. Horsham will love the end result of their restaurant.”
The district council will get almost £1.2 million in rent – £30,000 in the first year, £60,000 in each of the subsequent 19 years – by leasing the Grade II listed building to Bill’s. The building, in Market Square, was used by the council until 1988 but has been vacant since September 2009.