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Coffee business topped up

An Andover coffee shop has been awarded the second instalment of an Independent Retailer Grant from Test Valley Borough Council.

No.78 Speciality Coffee has now received a total of £1000 from the council after opening up shop in an empty Andover unit last year. Owner Paul Hedges gave the unit an extensive refurbishment, breathing a new lease of life into the space.

Councillor Iris Andersen awarded the second instalment, and said: “I am really pleased to see that Paul’s new venture is going well – long may it continue.”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant first receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month.

Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and use of the New Homes Bonus.