FLEET first is the motto of Sue Collen, Fleet’s new town centre manager.

Sue’s first official function was to arrange her own launch to the town.

More than 90 people from local retailers, businesses and organisations turned up to support her at the event, which also marked the opening of WE, the town’s new Indian-Thai restaurant.

Hart Council has been working with the Fleet Town Centre Group for months to establish and fund the new post.

Cllr Sharyn Wheale, cabinet member for Fleet and Church Crookham, has been leading the initiative.

“For a long time Fleet has needed a town centre manager to focus on the specific needs and interests of its people and businesses,” she said.

“We have worked very hard to create this post and in Sue we have the perfect person to address local issues and raise the profile of the town.”

Sue moved to Fleet 17 years ago with her husband Mike.

The couple, who have two children, Felicity, 18, and Simon, 16, have always been involved with the local community.

Sue is well known by many local traders and businesses as she worked for the local chamber of commerce for more than ten years.

Her new job is a dream come true.

“I’ve wanted to be town centre manager for a very long time and intend to be the best town centre manager for Fleet,” she said.

“I want to get more people coming into Fleet and build on its community spirit.

“I am looking at building up a calendar of events in the community.

“We are already looking at holding monthly farmers’ markets in the town and we have them booked on every bank holiday this year. We are really looking forward to the next one in Gurkha Square on Easter Monday.

“Plans are under way for a French market to come to the town, hopefully at the end of May, so that will be really exciting.

“Discussions are also taking place for a monthly market to be held in the town next year.

“We are hoping to have monthly get-togethers for all the retailers and we are already looking towards events at Christmas.

“The good thing about the town is that it has a number of independent retailers and I don’t want people to go anywhere else than Fleet. Marks & Spencer is coming to Fleet and there’s interest in all the empty shops so it really is an exciting time for the town.”

Anyone who wants to speak to Sue can contact her on 01252 613475 or 07717083188.