THE Mayor of Stockton tried her hand at being a barista when she officially opened a new Costa Coffee café in the town centre.

Councillor Barbara Inman, Mayor of Stockton, cut the ribbon to open the new store which is situated at 39 High Street, Stockton.

Costa Coffee is the latest café to open in the Town Centre along with a new branch of popular Billingham restaurant, Mohujos which has opened on Stockton’s Riverside.

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Councillor Barbara Inman, Mayor of Stockton, said: “As the transformation of Stockton High Street is now in its final year the Council wants to further attract and support businesses to open in the Town.”

Emma Nixon, Area Manager for Costa, said: “We’re delighted to open our new store in Stockton and provide jobs for 11 local people.”

Costa Coffee is located opposite the central part of Stockton High Street where a water feature along with seating, lighting and grass is currently being created and next door to the new, expanded Enterprise Arcade building which will open this autumn and be home to a range of independent shops.

Councillors are hopeful Costa's investment it shows the £20m investment into the High Street may be starting to have a positive effect.

However the authority has been criticised by some traders complaining the works on the High Street are taking too long and have had a negative effect on trade while the works are on-going.