RETAIL units in Romsey are at a "historic low" according to recent figures.

The news comes after figures collected by Test Valley Borough Council show that the market town's vacancy rates have plummeted over the past five years.

In October 2013 the vacancy rate for empty retail units in the town was 8.2%, this is in comparison to 3.8% in October 2018.

The vacancy rate of 8% for town centres across the South East and 10.1% across the UK.

There are currently 7 units vacant in the town out of 185.

David Gleave, economic officer from Test Valley Borough Council described the town's vacancy rate as "enviable" and said that is is currently at a "historic low."

He added:"Whatever the magic ingredients for a successful town centre are – successful programme of events attracting footfall, accessibility to catchment, attractive environment, growing community,realistic landlords, Romsey today seems to be quite fortunate."

Cllr Nick Adams King said the reason why he thinks vacancy rates in Romsey are at an all time low is because "it's such a nice town with an attraction of its own.

"The community are supportive and local people can see the council are investing in Romsey.

"Also a lot of the shops in the town are run by local people who know what's best for the area."

Nick also added that the council have put in "a lot of hard work to ensure there has been minimal disruption with the development of the market place."

He said: "We have moved quickly when there have been issues and we have been pro active on social media so people are well informed with what is happening.

"Inevitably the development period was going to be a tricky time but everyone has pulled together to reduce the amount of disruption it would cause to the town."

Mark Edgerley, Romsey Town Centre Manager said: "In part I think Romsey’s success is based on fact it’s a nice place to come, bit short on parking but it is at a reasonable cost free after 4pm and on Sundays and Bank Holidays which is not the case everywhere.

"Romsey is becoming a social space to enjoy, meet friends and enjoy a coffee, this encourages people in to the town to relax and they do convenience shopping at the same time."