Speciality shops in Fareham going through a revival

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A PUSH to get more independent retailers opening up in a busy Fareham street has been hailed as a success.

West Street has seen 11 specialist shops open there in the past year.

Café Ethos, Lydia Rose Boutique, Flowers by Lucy, Kraftea Coffee, Vintage Tea Room, By Lisa Marie, In with the In Crowd, Café Imbizo, SDM Coffee House, Sarah-Jayne’s Quality Furniture and La Diva Nails & Beauty have all opened along the stretch.

In addition, other units in the area are being fitted out – including a new funeral directors and Rancho Steak House.

Patricia Gray, Fareham Town Centre manager, said: ‘We are really pleased that so many independent businesses are investing in Fareham. As a group we have invested in West Street – Christmas decorations, hanging baskets, colourful banners – which all help to improve the look and feel of that area.

‘Independent shops offer a higher level of service and knowledge than you can find elsewhere and it is cheaper to park at that end of town. All these add up to reasons why people should visit.’

Joint owner of Vintage Tea Rooms, which opened in July, Frances Stillwell, said she was delighted by the location for her business.

Frances, 51, said: ‘It’s taken a while but we are finding it great. The people here are brilliant, really lovely.’

Another cafe on West Street is Café Imbizo, which is run by Fareham Community Church, with the profits going to good causes.

Manager Nick Scott, 34, said: ‘It is great to see so many shops filling up. It has been good, we have hit all the targets we set ourselves. We knew footfall wouldn’t be the same as in the very centre of town, but it has still been good with people visiting this end of town.’

Lisa Davis, from Lee-on-the-Solent, is the joint owner of By Lisa-Marie bridal and occasionwear shop which opened three weeks ago.

Lisa, 32, said: ‘The area has really come on in the last six months. It’s got busier and busier. It was an opportunity to open a large unit on an up-and-coming street.’