Rum's Eg in Bell Street has announced that it is to close amid the closure of the road for works.

Founded in 2012, a statement from the craft and art cafe say that the closure was 'very obviously affecting trade enormously'.

Despite the news, former company director Mark Edgerley said it has been experiencing financial trouble prior to the Bell Street closure.

Founding director Siriol Sherlock said: "Over the past five and a half years we have supported the work and development of hundreds of talented artists and makers, we have delivered community projects in schools and through numerous art and craft workshops providing many new opportunities.

"‘It is hoped that with Bell Street due to open again in May with the new wonderfully wide pavements in a much more inviting street with lovely independent shops, who are also trying their hardest to hang on by their fingernails, that the stunning three-floored premises at number 27 which was transformed by Rum’s Eg in 2012 will be taken as soon as possible."

A closing down sale has been announced for March 31 from 10am until 4.30pm.

The Bell Street works, a project by Hampshire County Council, will remain in place until May having been put in place last September.

Town centre manager Mark Edgerley, a former director, said: "I am disappointed that Rum’s Eg has decided to cease trading it was a great concept and many people have worked hard to make it work.

"Especially sorry for those that have lost their jobs

"I am a former  Director of the company, I resigned last year because it became clear that the business model was not sound and with no funding to make the required changes it seemed the only option was to close immediately two other directors felt there was hope if some investors could be found and that solution kept it going a little longer.

"No doubt the Bell St works haven’t helped but the business was having problems way before works started. "