AN INDEPENDENT trader from Witney will fill one of the remaining units in the town’s new shopping centre.

Card, gift and home shop Fresh is set to open in Marriott’s Walk, in Welsh Way, in September.

It is the latest retailer to move to the £50m development, which opened in October.

Eight units are still empty.

Last month, Past Times, which has its headquarters in the town, said that it would open a branch.

Starbucks has also leased one, but has yet to open.

Recruitment firm Meridian Business Support has taken a first-floor office suite in the development.

Fresh is the first venture of Witney resident Paul Hobbs, of Madley Park.

The 46-year-old said: “It’s been a long process to get to the stage where we are nearly ready to open and we are grateful for everyone’s support in our first venture.

“As a Witney resident I am delighted to be opening our first branch in the town.”

Marriott’s Walk manager Lynne Shawyer said: “It’s good to welcome another independent local retailer.”

Mr Hobbs, who has been involved in the retail trade since he left school, previously worked for Debenhams, in Oxford.

He is now looking for a charity that the shop can support as a community venture.

Mr Hobbs said: “We would like to hear from local charities that would be interested, and would ask people to write in nominating a good cause.”