Plans to inject a new lease of life into an empty historic pub building in Ipswich have been welcomed.

A new application has been made to Ipswich Borough Council for the former Railway pub, in Foxhall Road in east Ipswich.

The plans include a change of use, becoming three flats, to be used for staff and the building's owner, and a new pub-restaurant at the listed building.

Internal renovations are planned, as well as a new shopfront and two-storey extension on two sides of the building, with the western extension housing flats and the north-eastern extension becoming a garage and pub storage space.

Councillor John Cook, portfolio holder for communities and sport at Ipswich Borough Council, who represents the ward, said: "I think it will be good to see the Railway back in action as a pub-restaurant.

"I know there will be people who remember it as a lively music venue and I am sure they will be sad that it is not reopening in that way, but this is better than we might have hoped for because we have seen many pubs get lost altogether.

"Empty buildings are bad news, regardless of whether they are domestic, business, or otherwise, so it is good to see them being used in a positive and appropriate way."

Resident John Casey added: "I used to frequent the place when Chris and Joyce were in charge. Would be good to see it bought back into use."

Built in 1877, the building once served the community as the Railway Hotel and had connections to the railway industry, with a tramway depot and stables for horse-drawn trams.

The changes are expected to create seven new employee positions.

The former landlords of the pub, Steve and Sue Preston, announced that the venue would not be reopening after Covid restrictions were lifted in 2020 and it was later sold to a London buyer.