BREWERS Quay is to be transformed into a hotel, restaurant and apartments complex in time for the Olympics.

New owners plan to take over the Weymouth building and convert it to an upmarket development housing a hotel, specialist retail outlets, restaurants, bars and luxury flats.

The Old Harbour development is due to be delivered by the time Weymouth hosts the 2012 Games.

It is described as an ‘inspiring’ and ‘prestigious’ project that will transform the face of Weymouth.

Major investment planned for the Grade II listed retail and leisure complex will retain the building’s heritage features through a sensitive conversion, according to he developers.

Much of the building’s fabric will be refurbished and upgraded.

Brewers Quay traders have been informed about the redevelopment plans and will be given more detail following an announcement next week.

However, they refused to speak about the shock announcement.

News of the plans comes as the complex celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Weymouth Museum, which is funded and managed by Brewers Quay, will stay in the new facilities and will be given a dedicated museum shop and café.

New jobs will be created at the former brewing facility’s new hotel, shops, restaurants and bars.

It is also hoped that the new-look Brewers Quay will bring more visitors to the resort.

But Michel Hooper-Immins, secretary of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, thinks it could have the reverse effect.

He said: “I think that Brewers Quay works very well as a visitor attraction and is a big asset to the town.

“Brewers Quay is a lovely collection of shops and I know many visitors enjoy spending time in there.

“Whether a hotel would be suitable for it, I don’t know.

“I would be concerned about where people are going to park their cars.

“I’d be very sad to see it go.”

Doubt was voiced by Mr Hooper-Immins about incorporating apartments into the plans.

“I’m not sure apartments are what we want and I have a feeling Brewers Quay is more valuable to the town as an attraction.”

Residents and traders are invited to a public exhibition to view the outline proposals for the transformation.

They will be on show from Thursday, August 5 to Saturday, August 7.

A detailed planning application for the Victorian brewery house will be submitted at a later date.

If planning permission is approved, development will begin early in 2011.

In 2004 Brewers Quay was put up for sale for the fifth time in 15 years.

Bids of around £3 million faltered when prospective buyers found managing the site too complex.

In February 2007 shops and businesses were given notice to leave by owner Punch Taverns.

An overhaul of the building was planned and tenants were given notice as a precautionary measure in case plans for development were brought forward.