A Spanish restaurant chain is hoping to bring a little bit of Marbella to Chigwell with work already under way on its first UK location.

La Sala, which has four restaurants in Spain, is due to open its first UK restaurant in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green in September as many of its customers come from the area.

The venture, which will bring 70 jobs to the area, is backed by shareholders and former footballers, including David Bentley, Stephen Carr and Michael Brown, who live local to Chigwell.

The company has already started work on a £1.5 million tranformation of the former site of the White Hart Inn.

Marbella is known as being a party destination with The Only Way is Essex show currently on air from the area in south Spain. 

A spokeswoman for the restaurant chain said: "The main reasons for choosing Chigwell were twofold, we have a database of over 3,000 local people that have been to our restaurant La Sala in Puerto Banus, and the location is local to many of our footballing related investors."

The restaurant will offer Spanish and international food, with a bar and grill menu and heated undercover outdoor seating.

James Horler, chairman of La Sala, sold his La Tasca restaurant chain for £135 million in 2007 before setting up La Sala.

He said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity as La Sala is a totally different concept and the right brand to bring to the UK at this time.

“The La Sala brand already has international recognition and we’re aiming to transfer this proven formula of atmosphere, quality, exceptional service and value to the UK.

A further five restaurants are being planned for the UK in the next three years.