POPULAR coffee chain Costa has officially opened in Saltcoats.

We revealed back in April that Saltcoats was to join Irvine, Stevenston and Largs as North Ayrshire towns with a Costa, and now the store has opened.

Situated in Dockhead Street on the site of Sullivan's Pub, the new franchise had been earmarked to open last month but officially welcomed its first customers today.

When we announced that planning permission was granted for the store to open, it was met with anger from a number of locals who voiced support for independent coffee shops in the town.