AN indepedent business owner in Winchester has had some fresh hope in his bid to avoid closure.

Clive Hibberd who has run the Bus Station Cafe for 27 years says the family-run firm is at risk because of a significant drop in trade because of bus station demolition work.

He says that the work has led to a decrease in footfall and people believing his shop is closed.

However, Mr Hibberd,60, who pays his rent to the former owners of the Bus Station, Stagecoach has been given some hope to help with his loss of earnings.

Stagecoach have agreed to waiver his rent for the time the bus station work is going on.

Mr Hibberd says this means that he has reduced overheads, but he added that he still hasn't had any money from Winchester City Council who agreed to do the work.

Mr Hibberd said: "I want to say thanks to all the customers that have come in since the article was in the Hampshire Chronicle and Daily Echo, and people are more aware we are open but we are not getting as much custom as I would like due to people thinking we are closed.

"I am very grateful for Stagecoach waiving my rent but there is still a issue with loss of earnings.

"But things are looking more positive and I am hopeful I can stay open."

Currently the city council is demolishing the 1930s garage, after that they will spruce up the building which includes updating the bus station office.

Buses are temporarily being deployed to The Broadway and are due to return to the station in early September.

The city council has stated its position is that any loss of earnings money would have to come from Stagecoach.

Work on the bus station is set to finish in September.