AN ANDOVER coffee shop has been awarded an Independent Retailer Grant from Test Valley Borough Council after opening its doors in the town centre.

Paul Hedges welcomed customers to Coffee No.78 in August, after an extensive refurbishment to an empty unit in Andover, giving the space a new lease of life and a welcoming feel for customers.

The new shop is at 78 High Street, in one of the units formerly occupied by iconic Andover business Harvey’s.

The building has been redecorated along Scandinavian lines as part of its refurbishment.

Speaking to the Advertiser at the time, Paul said: “A lot of coffee shops are going for a wood-strip natural look now, which is Swedish inspired.

“I’ve been supplying my own brand of milk, St Ives Barista Milk, to coffee shops for over two decades in Winchester and London. I thought it was about time I opened my own shop, as I’ve had enough time here!”

Paul applied for an Independent Retailer Grant from the council, and has now received the first instalment of the grant.

He said: “I am thrilled to have opened this unit and given it a new lease of life.

“The council is working on redeveloping Andover’s town centre and I am excited for my business to be a part of these changes.

“I’d like to thank the council for their support with my new business.”

St Mary’s ward councillor, Iris Andersen, added: “It is excellent news that we have a new business in the town. We’re seeing more and more people use coffee shops as a meeting point, an office, or for a time of calm.

“It’s wonderful to see so many independent shops popping up and offering high streets a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

“I am really pleased that Paul’s new venture is going well – long may it continue.”

As part of the council’s strategy to support Andover and Romsey town centres, the Independent Retailer Grant is available to encourage new independently-owned retailers to take up vacant space.

For more information about the council’s grant schemes, visit