ITALIAN-STYLE coffee house Caff Nero is to invest £200,000 in revamping Taunton's historic Tudor Tavern.

Work is already underway to transform the building, which has stood empty for years.

The company hopes to open the outlet on November 7 and is carrying out a "sympathetic" refurbishment, retaining and enhancing many of the building's features which are in need of repair.

Paul Ettinger, commercial director of Caff Nero, told the Somerset County Gazette: "It'll be a laid back place where people can spend two minutes or two hours.

"It'll offer very good Italian-style coffee and good food, like pasta, paninis and salads.

"All our outlets are individual - they have their own identity and we try to employ local people. We want to be part of the community."

Mr Ettinger also said the outlet would have a smoking section and a range of seating, including bar stools, tables, and sofas.

The Tudor has been let by commercial property consultants Larkman Edgcumbe, on behalf of owners Destination Adventure.

Robert Larkman, of Larkman Edgcumbe, said: "This is one of Taunton's oldest and most interesting properties.

"We had numerous offers and enquiries from a wide range of local and national companies but the clients strongly felt that Taunton has enough pubs and their main concern was securing an operator that best suited the building.

"Having visited Caff Nero's premises in Canterbury and seen what they were able to do with a very similar Tudor-style property, my clients were convinced they would be the right tenant for the building."