Grand opening of Costa in Emsworth

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A COFFEE shop which divided a town will finally open.

Costa Coffee will open in the former Barclays bank, in High Street, Emsworth, on Saturday.

The prospect of a national coffee chain opening in the historic square provoked fierce debate earlier this year.

Havant Borough Council, which approved the opening, received 114 written objections and 27 letters in favour.

Emsworth Business Association had initially fought the plan, arguing it would harm the town’s independent character.

But it agreed not to object after Costa Coffee franchisee, Premier Coffee, offered to bring in a number of community features, including contributing towards the town’s Christmas lights

The grand opening takes place at 10am, with Mayor Leah Turner cutting the ribbon.

She said: ‘I am delighted to be opening the new Costa coffee here in Emsworth. The new Costa will not only create new jobs but will also provide another great reason for local people to visit our town. I wish store manager Jen Speight and her staff every success.’

Eight jobs will be created. The cafe is being opened by Southampton-based Costa franchisees Robin Arkle and Andy Hirst.