A ROMSEY coffee shop which has raised £150,000 for hundreds of children in Kenya will close its doors for the final time next month.

Asante Coffee Shop, Latimer Walk, announced on they will be closing after nine years of trading due to "increased competition" and "higher running costs".

Now the coffee shop has revealed they will close on Sunday, March 1.

The shop was set up by the charity Citizens4Change to help feed and educate young people in Kisumu, Kenya.

One of the trustees of the charity, Shirley Barter, said: "Myself, my husband Paul and Judge Gregory set up the project in Chandler's Ford 11 years ago, because we decided we wanted to do something more permanent.

"We opened the coffee shop as we wanted to make a place for people to meet and shortly after we opened the shop in Romsey, because it was going so well.

"It has been an incredible story working with people in Kenya, as the charity has gone from being a hut in the slum, where they started school with everybody, and we have now established a primary school, nursery and a daycare centre.

"We have raised £150,000 and helped about 600 children over the years; there are so many people who have been touched by this project."

The 61-year-old from Chandler's Ford added: "It has been a great run really and all good things have to come to an end; it is sad really because it used to be buzzing.

"We are closing due to increased competition in the marketplace as retail shops decline in favour of more independent coffee shops, higher running costs and the inability to re-invest capital into the business.

"We are doing a celebration party on Saturday, 29 February, and we are hoping to invite as many people who have worked or been a volunteer for us to come back and end to end on a high."

Shirley added her and Paul will continue to visit the "Life Centre school" in Kenya and run charity events.

Cllr Nik Daas, who represents Romsey Abbey on the borough council, said: "Asante was a brilliant project that supported a very good cause.

"It is sad to see it go, but it has done a lot of brilliant work and it has made a real impact on the town; I hope something just as good can fill it.

"People in Romsey have been very supportive of charity and they went to the coffee shop, because of where the funds were going."