FIFTY new jobs are being created as "world food" chain COSMO invests £1 million in opening a new restaurant in York.

The buffet restaurant, which will seat 220 diners, is opening next month on the site of the former Argos store in Bridge Street.

It will be COSMO's 16th UK restaurant, with the chain also operating as far afield as Aberdeen, Swansea and Belfast, as well as Leeds, Doncaster and Sheffield.

The York restaurant will feature eight live cooking stations, serving food inspired by cuisine from India, China, Japan, Vietnam, Brazil, Italy and Thailand.

James Brion, creative director at COSMO, praised regeneration schemes in York, which he say attracted the brand to the city.

COSMO follows in the footsteps of Star Inn the City, Byron and Banyan which have all opened in the city centre recently, and Carluccio's which is due to open in Fenwick next month.

Mr Brion said: “We cannot wait to open our restaurant in York.

"We are very excited by our prominent location overlooking the river and promise that our restaurant, with the vast choice of dishes from so many countries at one time, will be like nowhere else in the city.

“York is world renowned as a tourism destination, but schemes such as Reinvigorate York and other planned redevelopment projects show us that it is a city whose economy is very much on the up, so we are moving here at just the right time.

“This is our fourth outlet in Yorkshire and, with a second COSMO restaurant due to open in Leeds later this year, it feels like the county is becoming our second home.

"We are very much looking forward to welcoming residents and tourists alike into our restaurant and introducing them to the very best that COSMO has to offer.”

City of York Council granted permission for the empty Bridge Street building to change from retail use to restaurant use, in October last year.

The application was submitted by Individual Restaurants, which owns the neighbouring Piccolino eatery, and also sought to split the premises into two separate restaurants.

The restaurant group, which also owns the Bank, Zinc and The Restaurant Bar & Grill chains, has not revealed plans for the other restaurant space.