A Southampton fish and chip shop that failed to impress hygiene inspectors has changed hands.

Michael Castle, 49, and his wife Carla, 42, are the new owners of The Phat Chip Company on Lodge Road.

The Winchester couple have been working hard to refurbish the shop and have even launched a new vegan menu to appeal to all customers.

Carla, who has worked in the hospitality sector for years, said: “We know this place had a bad reputation but we’re working hard to change it around.

“We have cleaned everything, and we really want people to know that ownership has changed and we’re working really hard to make this place better.”

Daily Echo:  Carla Castle, 42 Carla Castle, 42 (Image: Newsquest)

READ MORE: Southampton fish and chip shop told it must clean up in hygiene report

The eatery was given a one hygiene rating by the Food Standards Agency in January last year after inspectors found the kitchen floor was dirty and in need of a thorough clean.

In May, then-owner Ashraful Chowdhury made some changes and inspectors issued a new score of three.

The Castles bought the establishment in October and took it upon themselves to make further improvements.

On January 18, following a new inspection, the eatery was given a five out of five rating, meaning hygiene standards are ‘Very Good’.

Daily Echo: The Phat Chip Company's Vegan menuThe Phat Chip Company's Vegan menu (Image: Newsquest, Jose Ramos)

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Michael, who previously owned a construction firm, said: “We have worked really hard to get it up to five [rating].

"We really needed to get it up. When we got the place that was our first priority. It was a lot of hard work but it needed to be done.”

The couple spent around £7,500 refurbishing the kitchen area and are now hoping to gain the community’s trust.

Their daughter Bethany’s social media skills have helped spread the word.

Daily Echo: Michael Castle with the 'long cod'Michael Castle with the 'long cod' (Image: Newsquest)

As well as your typical chippie options, Carla and Michael have launched a vegan-friendly menu.

Carla said: “We are bringing a vegan menu so that everyone can eat from us.

"We have had a lot of good feedback on our normal menu, including our massive cod, and we want that to be the case for vegan eaters.”