A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save a corner shop that has been at the heart of its community for more than 60 years.

Harveys – the only convenience store in the Hounsdown area of Totton – is set to close with the loss of at least seven jobs.

Paul Harvey, who runs the business, is blaming competition from supermarkets for his decision to pull down the shutters.

But Hounsdown residents say the store provides a vital service for the large number of people in the neighbourhood who still prefer to shop locally. Almost 60 campaigners gathered outside Harveys in a massive show of support for the business.

Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Shelagh Trusson said: “Harveys is a lifeline for those without transport, particularly elderly people who have been stranded since the removal of our local bus service.

“The shop is used extensively by residents, pupils from Hounsdown School and local businesses.”

The campaign to save it is being led by Councillor David Harrison, who represents Totton South on the town, district and county councils.

He said: “The loss of Harveys would be a savage blow to the community – it’s the only convenience store serving the whole of Hounsdown.

“I have been contacting other local business owners and setting up meetings with the aim of finding a new owner or possibly launching some sort of community venture.”

About 80 homes are due to be built at nearby Durley Farm in a move that is likely to generate extra trade for the shop.

Cllr Harrison added: “Hopefully a local businessman will recognise that the store represents a good opportunity and will be prepared to take it on.

“Three people have already expressed an interest.

I have every optimism that something good may come out of this.”