A CHEPSTOW opticians is celebrating 15 years in business.

When qualified optometrist Ashish Sharma opened the Specsavers branch in 2002, it had just four members of staff and two test rooms. Today, the workforce stands at 17, with a fourth test room about to be opened following a refurbishment which is taking place at the High Street store this summer.

Of the original four staff, optical assistant Catriona Bowen is still working at the store.

Mr Sharma, who started his career at Specsavers in 1994 as an optical assistant in Newport, also worked in the Cwmbran and Merthyr stores before opening his own business in Chepstow.

Mr Sharma continues to invest in his team, currently employing four people who completed the Specsavers apprenticeship programme and are now working the in the store’s lab and in optical assistant roles.

The business is also funding team member Chelsea Duffield to train to become a dispensing optician.

Mr Sharma said: "Since opening the store, we’ve gone from strength-to-strength, increasing the number of test rooms and expanding our services to offer audiology as well as upping staff numbers.

"Without the continued support of the Chepstow community we wouldn’t have had such a successful 15 years of trading. Through our gradual expansion and investment into the store, we hope to offer customers, both old and new, the highest standards of optical and audiology services."