A NEW pet store has opened in Romsey just weeks after an aquatic centre closed its doors for the final time.

Southern Aquatics & Pets revealed they moved into the former Romsey World of Water site, Greatbridge Road, to initially look after the left behind fish after the company went into administration.

Now one of the directors from Southern Aquatics & Pets has announced they want to restore the site to its former glory, where people "used to travel across the south" to visit the store.

Director of Southern Aquatics & Pets, James Henniker-Parker, said: "When Romsey World of Water went into administration we got a lease to trade by the administrators, so we are trading here until May and ideally we would like a ten year lease so we can invest a lot of money into the shop.

"I have know about this shop all of my adult life and it has gone down hill in recent years, so it would be nice to restore it to how it used to be as it was amazing; people from all over the south used to drive to come to this store.

"This week we are ready for people to come to our shop, so we are hoping people will visit us."

The 43-year-old from Bournemouth added: "We have got two stores, one in Cadnam and we have a big centre in Poole, where we sell parrots, small animals such as guinea pigs.

"It works for us selling a bit of everything and we are an independent store, so our main competition is Pets at Home.

"I think people in Romsey will quite like us because there is no one else like us, as we are a staff-owned business, and we have lots of reduced stock at really cheap prices.

"There has been one lady who has come into the shop three days in a row this week."

James stressed Southern Aquatics & Pets have "high hopes" for business in the summer, adding "opportunities like this do not come along very often".

The store opened for business on Sunday, February 9.

The administration company, Quantuma, has been contacted for comment.

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, Romsey World of Water announced they had gone into administration on Sunday, January 26.