ROMSEY'S town centre manager has announced he is set to retire at the end of July after serving six years in the role.

Mark Edgerley was appointed the job in March 2014 and says he has "enjoyed every moment" helping residents.

Now, the 68-year-old has revealed he will retire as town centre manager on Friday, July 28.

He said: "When I took on the role as the first Romsey Town Centre Manager, I really didn’t expect that six years later I would still be in the role.

"Before working for Romsey Town Council, I had been retired for a few months after working as the chief executive at Marwell Zoo for four years, but I was there mostly as a volunteer for 25 years.

"The job for the town centre manager was advertised in the Romsey Advertiser and I thought where’s the harm in an 18 hour per week part-time post?

"Who wouldn’t be tempted to take on such an exciting job, working in a town you love, with a friendly Town Hall team and [being] in regular contact with local businesses, [including] the wonderful residents that make this community what it is today?"

Mark and his wife, Mandy, moved to Romsey in 1980, when he took a job as a cartographic surveyor at the Ordnance Survey’s HQ in Southampton.

He went on to become European sales director for a Canadian software company in the late 1990s before moving onto Marwell Zoo in 2000.

Mark also set up the Wildlife Heritage Foundation – a big cat sanctuary in Smarden, Kent, and worked there from 2003 until May 2010.

Mr Edgerley added: "I have enjoyed every moment, but now is the time to step back and get someone new in to build and deliver Romsey’s recovery plan from the problems caused by coronavirus.

"I will continue to be involved in the Romsey Festival and Romsey Future, so I will still be haunting people."

Mark said he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, because he has "five at the moment and we have got another one arriving in October".

"I will also spend more time on my allotment, which gets neglected in the summer, and it is a great way to spend time outdoors," he added.

When asked what Mark will miss most about being Romsey's town centre manager, he said: "It will be meeting people, being out on the streets in Romsey and chatting to people and trying to help them.

"The town council is a source of information so people come into the town hall and if they have a problem, that could be to do with litter or parking permits, we can signpost them to where they need to go."

Romsey Town Council has been contacted for comment.