A PIANO shop has asked for permission to extend so it can “continue to grow and adapt to the local demand”.

Vine Pianos, based in Vine High Street, Stockbridge, has applied to Test Valley Borough Council to convert a carport at its site into a retail unit.

It states: “The proposal will enhance the setting of the Vine Yard (and by definition the Vine Inn) by virtue of sensitively utilising a currently vacant building and adding extra vibrancy and interest to the already attractive space.”

It added: “It is widely known that an increasing number of people are shopping on the internet rather than on the high street. If they are to survive, high streets must offer customers more diverse, unique, and interactive shopping experiences.

“Vine Pianos actively encourage customers into the shop to play and ‘get the feel’ of a piano before buying (a service not possible with internet retailers). This inclusivity to promote and boost local piano aspiration is key to the success of this small local business, increasing footfall and sales. This larger space will allow Vine Pianos to continue to grow and adapt to the local demand.”

The shop offers a range of services including selling new and used pianos, hire of pianos for events, piano repairs, lessons and sheet music.

The owners also hold a music license, and in its first year have hosted various events including busking, Christmas carols and mini concerts, all in support of the local community.

The application states: “The proposed conversion will provide the extra space required for Vine Pianos to build-on and improve its current service, with the addition of piano workshops, as well as being able to offer light refreshments (coffee, wine, beer, No-Low) to customers while in store.”

Any music played will be acoustic.

The proposed relocation to a unit in Vine Yard would enable the shop to remain in the area where it has made “substantial investment in establishing a business presence and advertising”.

The application said: “Vine Pianos has become increasingly involved in the community and has established good relationships with local churches, businesses, choirs, music societies, schools, and colleges (including Winchester University, Farley School, Stockbridge, Farleigh and Broughton Music Societies, St Peters Church, St Mary’s Church, Romsey Abbey, as well as supporting 95 private pianists in the vicinity) - moving location would be a huge loss. This move is a necessary progression to secure the future of this thriving and successful business in Stockbridge.”