A FAMILY business has been given a new lease of life after being relocated into Basingstoke town centre.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the Patel family, who had run the Premier News store, in Basing View, were under threat of closure due to redevelopments in Basing View.

However, after the community rallied around with their support for the family and in-depth talks with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the family was relocated into a new store in Church Street, Top of The Town.

On Friday, the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Sean Keating opened the new store, with the Patel family welcoming the community into Surya’s.

The new store is named after Mrs Patel, with the name meaning sunshine or light.

Kishor Patel told The Gazette: “We are delighted to have a new home. The support we have received from the community to get us here has been incredible.

“You have seen for yourself how caring people are towards us and we want to reciprocate that by providing a service for them.”

The Patel family had to move location after their Premier News store – which they had been running for 12-years – would have been demolished to make way for the new home of Eli Lilly.

Now with a location in the town centre, the family say there will be more footfall, but that also presents new challenges.

Surya Patel added: “There is clearly more competition in the town centre and that is something that we will have to adapt to.

“Thankfully we have a lot of customers who have become close friends who have already started coming in to see us in the new store, which is really positive.”

When news that the Patel family’s business was under threat, a petition was signed by more than 300 people calling for the borough council to support them.

After community backing and several meetings with cabinet member for property and development at the borough council, Councillor John Izett, the decision was made to move into the Top of The Town.

Mr Patel added: “We would just like to say a huge thank you to the community to showing us their support.

“Also the borough council for working with us and helping us find this wonderful new location in the town.”

Surya's will be selling a range of international food as well as, newspapers, magazines, soft drinks and freshly-made coffee.

At the opening Cllr Keating said: “My job in Basingstoke is to promote Basingstoke and Deane, and by opening shops of this nature and helping to contribute to the knowledge within the town of the new shop and hopefully it will be successful.

“They [the Patel family] wanted a place down here [town centre], and it’s good that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was able to accommodate them. So, it’s good for everyone. Footfall in this part of the town, needs to be improved and this will contribute to that.”