A NEW pizza restaurant is opening its doors in Swindon next week.

Pizza&Co will be setting up shop on Newport Street on August 3 and owner James Lavery is looking forward to opening day.

He will be serving up deep-pan American-style and Sicilian-base pizzas, loaded pasta, desserts and chicken parmo.

James has been working in the pizza business since leaving school and wanted to bring a dish from his hometown of Teeside to Swindon.

He said: "I am from Middlesbrough, a small town in the northeast of England, which isn’t really famous for much. It has the transporter bridge and a half-decent football team but it is most well known for the chicken parmo.

“It’s the most popular dish in Teesside and is served in every pub, restaurant, café and takeaway in Middlesbrough. Until recently, it has been predominantly found only in the northeast, but it has started to appear on menus across the UK.

"The dish has even found its way to Westminster after a local MP wrote to the chefs in the House of Commons and asked them to put it on the menu.”

The dish consists of breaded chicken breast, which is deep-fried and then topped with bechamel sauce and cheese. Various toppings can then be added.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, took his love for the dish further and launched a campaign to secure Protected Designation of Origin Status. “It is part of our history and culture we should be proud of it,” he has said.

James’ links to Swindon began when his brother was posted to the army barracks in Wiltshire. His regular visits instilled a love of the town, its nightlife and restaurants. There was just one thing missing - his favourite meal.

He added: “I am very proud of it, so when I was offered the premises in Old Town I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to introduce the pride of Teesside to the people of Swindon.”

The pizza parlour will officially open on Wednesday August 3, when the team will be giving away free pizza slices, then serve customers from 12pm to 9.30 pm six days a week (closed on Wednesdays).

James said: “We’ll share weekly giveaways on our Pizza&Co Facebook page. The first week’s offer includes one family table for six-to-eight people and two tables for two-to-three people. Simply like and share the Facebook page for a chance to win." 

Visit www.facebook.com/pizzacoswindon or www.swindon.thepizzaco.uk