MULTI-MILLION pound plans to redevelop Gloucester Docks have been heralded a "big step forward".
An 80-bed Premier Inn hotel, a Costa Drive Thru and a Brewers Fayre family restaurant are all being signed up to move into the derelict Bakers Quay.
A planning application is expected to be submitted as early as April for the redevelopment of the waterfront area off St Ann Way.
Site owner Dick Bishop was tight-lipped over the plans yesterday after previous plans for the site failed.
"We are in negotiations," he said. "We've been here before so we don't want to jump the gun.
"It is all good though. It is very important that we redevelop the site."
The historic Grade-II listed Malthouse Extension and Provender Mill will become new flats. Housing developer Crest Nicholson, which was heavily involved in other Docks warehouse transformations, has signed up.
The Malthouse will be an area for new food and drink outlets and the Premier Inn, Costa and Brewers Fayre would be nearby new-builds.
All three firms are owned by Whitbread, a key player who is expected to sign a contract next week.
City MP Richard Graham said: "Bakers Quay is the last part of the Gloucester Quays jigsaw and these announcements are a big step forward."
The project will be delivered by Rokeby Developments, who have built retail parks across the country.
Councillor Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "If we have some genuine ideas for a scheme that it is deliverable that is great.
"The site is a real eyesore. It is something that everyone in Gloucester is desperate to see sorted.
"There are some very important listed buildings there. That is why people have been so concerned about seeing it brought back to life.
"There is such a contrast from that site to what has happened around it with Gloucester Quays and if we can get it sorted then it will go some way in transforming the whole area."