TRADERS in Grove claim they are bucking the trend of shops closing after the last unit in the village’s main precinct was snapped up and turned into a takeaway.

The Millbrook Square precinct has 15 shops, including a Tesco Express, Supa-fruits, Smiths DIY, the Mayfield Coffee Lounge and McColls newsagent.

Last month the remaining empty unit, formerly a Co-op supermarket, was taken over by Mehmet and Lisa Izer and turned into Mem’s Kitchen takeaway.

Shopkeepers say the precinct is constantly busy, is an ideal place to set up a business, and provides everything people need, including meat, vegetables, dry cleaning and a bank.

Millbrook Square is now full and traders say it is bucking the trend of towns like Abingdon and nearby Wantage – which have a number of empty shops.

Mr and Mrs Izer also run the Silvana takeaway, in Wantage’s Mill Street.

Mrs Izer, 36, said: “Everybody wants to go to Grove and vacant shops don’t come up very often.

“It’s always busy. The shop is bigger than the one in Wantage, which means we can offer a bigger variety of food.

“Plus a lot of our Grove customers visit Silvana’s, so we thought it was ideal for to set up a shop here. The parking is better.

“The square is complete now. If you look at other precincts, like Abingdon and Wantage, they’re not full.

“People can visit the square and not have to shop anywhere else. It has such a variety, from a green- grocers right through to a funeral director.

“I think that’s an achievement in itself.”

The mother-of-two added: “I also think that Millbrook Square has a lot more going for it than Wantage town centre.”

Steve Missen, of Smiths DIY, which has been in Millbrook Square for 20 years, said: “The last time the precinct was full was about four years ago,” said He added: “I think it’s great that the shopping centre is now full again.

“How many other places have got an old-fashioned butcher, greengrocer and ironmonger in the same high street?

“More shoppers are coming to shop here. Everytime I look out to the car park, it’s always full.

The precinct also has A R Hanley’s butchers, Bretts Pharmacy, Wine Palace off-licence, Grove Cleaners, Elaichi Tandoori Restaurant, the Co-operative funeral service, a dentist, Millbrook Opticians, Action For Children In Conflict charity shop and Lloyds TSB.

A doctor’s surgery is opposite the precinct.

Andrew Telford, manager of Millbrook Opticians, said: “Millbrook Square is a great place to set up your business. It’s always busy.”