Finally! John Lewis is coming to Brighton and Hove, with a branch in North Street

There have been rumours and expectations - and, finally, it looks as if it ís true.

JohnLewisMainImageThere have been rumours and expectations - and, finally, it looks as if it ís true.

John Lewis is coming to Brighton and Hove.

The department store will announce today (Friday) its intentions to open a branch in the heart of the city, at 129-133 North Street.

The building, which is currently home to Boots, Krispy Kreme, and travel agent Thomson, was acquired by John Lewis in December last year.

Andrew Mills, acquisitions and development manager at John Lewis, said: "We have held a long-term ambition to have a presence in Brighton. Although a shop opening is a long way off, over the coming months we intend to work closely with local retail, business, and community organisations in the city as we develop more detailed proposals. We hope to submit a planning application in the first half of 2016."

He said John Lewis will now start to engage with the local community before submitting a planning application to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Warren Morgan, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: "I'm really pleased to have been able to work with John Lewis on bringing forward plans for a store in Brighton, something I know residents will welcome and something I think is a huge vote of confidence for the city.

"Shopping in Brighton and Hove is a key economic driver supporting local jobs and attracting visitors so a new store opening of this calibre will help raise the profile of our vibrant retail sector and serve as a flagship addition to the regionís retail draw."

The department store has 45 branches in the UK, the closest to Brighton and Hove are Chichester in West Sussex, Southsea in Hampshire, and Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

The new Brighton store is set to offer an edited selection of its fashion, beauty, home, electrical, and consumer electronics goods, while computer terminals will enable shoppers to browse the wider John Lewis assortment online.

If plans are approved, the new shop would provide up to 250 new jobs.

But what will become of Boots, Krispy Kreme, and Thomson?

On this, John Lewis said: "Since acquiring the building we have maintained an ongoing dialogue with all of our tenants which includes Boots.

"We are just at the start of the process in bringing forward a planning application and working with our tenants will continue to be a priority going forward."

With the planning application for John Lewis due to be submitted early next year, we may all have to wait until 2017 for the store to open. Finally.