WORK is under way at a former bakery which has stood frozen in time for more than 20 years.

Carbery Bakery, once a thriving business, closed its doors suddenly and many of the fixtures and fittings remained in place for many years.

Situated in Carbery Row, the bakery was well-known for its traditional, old-style cakes and was sorely missed by Southbourne residents.

For decades post and newspapers could be seen piled up inside the door alongside cake display cabinets.

But the front of the shop has now been painted and a tantalising hand-written sign erected which says: “Coming soon???”

One Southbourne resident said he believes the shop is becoming a modern barber’s shop but its future has not been confirmed.

A planning application was submitted to BCP Council in March asking for permission to alter the front elevation but no decision has been made to date.

Staff in neighbouring businesses said they are optimistic that the dilapidated shop is finally going to be refurbished.

One near neighbour said: “It’s been closed for years and has been a real eyesore. There has been a little bit of activity over the years but it has all come to nothing which has been very disappointing.

“Most of the businesses in this row have been here for a long time so it would be nice to see something new opening in the bakery.”

Work is being carried out by Bournemouth-based Hillier Developments and Home Improvements.

When the Daily Echo contacted the company a spokesman confirmed they are doing the work but added: “I think the owner wants it to be a surprise so I can’t tell you what’s going in there.”