AN international coffee house chain will in Ramsbottom today.

A Starbucks drive-thru will open at the former Esso petrol station in Stubbins Lane following months of renovation work.

Euro Garages are behind the franchise, which will replace a car wash that was demolished as part of the recent work.

A total of 20 car parking space, including two disabled bays, will be provided along with two ATM machines.

Bury Council officers approved the plans for the store earlier this year.

Ramsbottom councillor Clare Cummins said there were "mixed views" among residents as to whether the chain's arrival was a good thing for the town, which prides itself on its independent high street.

She added: "Some people are happy about it, but on the other hand we have so many local businesses here and we do not want them to be overlooked."

However, Adrian Barratt-Smith, who owns the independent coffee shop Grind & Tamp in Bridge Street, said he was not worried about the impact of Starbucks' arrival.

"We have got a loyal customer base that enjoy speciality coffee. The type of products we sell are a different kettle of fish to Starbucks," he explained.

"There has always been a focus on independent businesses so it is a bit of a shame that we have lost that. There is always the potential for more now.

"We would like to think we will keep that independent high street as much as we can."

Starbucks bosses say the store will create 12 new jobs for the local community.

To celebrate the opening, a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place today, with representatives from the store’s charity partner, the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity, doing the honours.

Throughout the day the store team will also be holding regular coffee tastings, and customers can try one of Starbucks new handcrafted cold coffees including Starbucks Doubleshot Iced Coffee and Starbucks Doubleshot Vanilla Iced Coffee.

Mohammed Tayab, head of Starbucks at EG Group, said “The store team and I are so excited to open the first Starbucks store in Ramsbottom. We look forward to becoming part of the local community and welcoming in new customers.

"We are also proud to support the Joshua Wilson Charity, a cause which is close to the hearts of the local community.”

As well as the drive-thru, those looking to relax in store will be able to take advantage of indoor seating and free wi-fi.

The store will be open from 6.30am-9pm Monday to Friday, and 7am-9pm on Saturday, and 8am-9pm on Sunday.