FIERCE competition has led to the closure of a Romsey café.

The Style Room Café only opened last year and the owner of the Market Place business, Simon Troke, said since Costa Coffee arrived on the other side of the street earlier this year, trade had suffered badly.

“Since they opened, we’ve lost custom and we’ve seen a large drop in takings in the café,” said 31-year-old Simon, who also ran the adjoining Style Room homeware store until last Friday.

Brian Wood, a partner in the business, has taken the shop over while Simon concentrates on a new venture outside Hampshire, which he said he preferred not to disclose.

He will be closing his other shop in Hythe before Christmas. Simon said the lease of the premises hah run out and he had decided not to renew it.

“I am going to miss Romsey, because it is a lovely community and I’ve enjoyed it here.”

Simon played a leading role in persuading Network Rail delay closing the main route into Romsey until after Christmas last year while the Ashfield rail bridge was rebuilt.