NEWS that Minehead's well-known seafront venue The Queens Hall is being brought back into use has been welcomed by the town's chamber of commerce.

It was revealed this week that the building, which had lain empty for a number of years, had been sold to new owners who plan to run an indoor retail market there.

The Queens Hall has previously been run as an amusement arcade, a sports bar and as a nightclub in recent years.

Graham Sizer, chairman of Minehead Chamber of Commerce said The Queens Hall being brought back into use was 'excellent news for our tourist town'.

"While it has been boarded up the Queens Hall has been an blot on the landscape for several years, giving out the wrong message about Minehead,” Mr Sizer said.

He said the news of the indoor market opening added to a trend of ‘renewed optimism’ in the Minehead High Street over the past year.

Mr Sizer added: “The three empty shops in The Avenue now have new tenants and our cinema will be open soon.

“Things are tough out there for bricks and mortar retailers but Minehead is now able to boast it has one of the lowest shop vacancy rates in the South West.”