The 4,500sqm project will see a 62-bed hotel, three screen cinema, five food and restaurant units and car parking introduced to the Bridge Street site.
The site, which was the home of Thetford Bus Station, was recently vacated after the opening of the town’s new Bus Interchange.
David Winch, lead construction director for Land Group, who are developing the site in conjunction with Breckland Council under the banner of the newly-formed Breckland Bridge Ltd, said work would start in May.
“After a long gestation we are delighted to be able to indicate a firm start for the scheme. Before our involvement the council and their professional team have worked extremely hard to overcome many hurdles that were preventing the development.
It is extremely satisfying for all involved that after this effort the long planning phase is coming to an end and that this landmark town centre scheme will at last leave the drawing board and start construction,” he said.
The scheme has been designed by LSI Architects, and promises to “stimulate” Thetford’s leisure offer in the town centre.
LSI partner, Rupert Kitchen, said: “The character and materials of the design, for example the pitched roof silhouettes, link the site to its historical context but serve as a modern counterpoint to inject a new lease of life.”
Travelodge have been confirmed as the tenants of the hotel, while The Light will be taking on the cinema.
Keith Pullinger, CEO of The Light, said the cinema would create 25 jobs.
Marketing to launch the restaurants has begun, with up to five new occupants joining the scheme.