A NEW coffee shop is set to open its doors in Romsey.

The news comes after a Savills sign has been put up outside the former Co-operative Travel shop at number 15 the Market Place, stating that the building has been let to Josie's.

The Josie's coffee shop chain first opened in 2011 in Bishops Waltham and it already has branches in Winchester and Petersfield.

It was reported in March this year that plans for an eatery to open at the property had been given the green light by the council.

Town Centre Manager Mark Edgerley said: "I am delighted that they are investing in a premise in the newly enhance Market Place, it’s a perfect location for a cafe with outside seating.

"The menu choice seems to compliment rather than compete with other cafes in the immediate area, most of which are full at peak times of the day, it’s really good to have a Hampshire based company taking the lease of this unit in such a prime position."

Prior to the announcement that Josie's is set to be opening at the premises, Director Tim Lincoln, who owns the building in the market place said: "The change of use of this property from a shop to a restaurant will add a new vibrancy to this area of the Market Square and we hope it will provide a good quality all day dining venue for the benefit of Romsey’s growing population.”

The news of the new coffee shop comes amid a £3.2million project to enhance the town which began in January.

As part of the scheme, the roundabout in the Market Place is set to be replaced with a large piazza-style build-out around Lord Palmerston’s statue.

According to Mark Edgerley the newly revamped Market Place will officially be completed on July 23.

Cllr John Parker who represents the Tadburn ward said: "I think the addition of Josie's will be nice.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how it all pans out with the new piazza."

The news of the opening of Josie's in the Market Town also comes after figures from Test Valley Borough Council show that the town's vacancy rate is at a "historic low."

In October 2013 the vacancy rate for empty retail units in the town was 8.2%, this is in comparison to 3.8% in October 2018.