A COMMUNITY store in Berkeley has been saved from closure as a last minute buyer comes forward.

Described as a “haven” by customers, Baileys News on Market Place was feared to be close to being shut in January if owner Nick Priest could not find a buyer in the coming months.

Mr Priest told the Gazette he was delighted the community can continue to be served in Berkeley, saying he had been “desperate” to find a buyer rather than close the shop “for the sake of the staff and the community”.

“I am sure it will change and I hope he brings in some new ideas and makes a success of it,” he said.

New owner Jeyarasa Jeyaroopan, 38, has moved from St Albans in London to the quite town with his wife Vidya Jeyaroopan and their two children.

The former manager of a Shell garage in Mill Hill in the city trained as a civil engineer but said he enjoys running his own business.

He told the Gazette he was excited about the future as he looks to make changes to the store, including extending its opening hours.

“I am hoping to be able to sell our products cheaper than other shops in the area and I also want to sell groceries,” he said.

The store, which employs eight people, had been on the market for 15 months as Mr Priest decided to sell off a number of newsagents in the region including in Malmesbury, Cricklade and Stonehouse.

Mr Priest had earlier assured residents that the two remaining stores on Silver Street in Dursley and in Nailsworth would not be sold in the foreseeable future.