Weston-super-Mare shop to reopen after being ravaged in arson attack

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 February 2017

The burned-out Weston Hospicecare shop in Aller Parade, Weston-super-Mare.

The burned-out Weston Hospicecare shop in Aller Parade, Weston-super-Mare.

Archant

A Weston Hospicecare shop which was badly damaged in an arson attack six months ago will reopen next month.

The charity’s shop in Aller Parade, on Weston’s Oldmixon estate, was ravaged by fire in August when a box of children’s toys – which had been left outside the shop’s doors as a donation – was set alight during the early hours of the morning.

At the time, the hospice said it would lose about £220 per day in revenue from the shop’s closure and staff said the shop’s volunteers were particularly upset by the incident.

However, after months of repairs and renovations, the shop will reopen to the public on March 6.

The hospice’s director of fundraising and communications, Alison Sopp, said the shop had taken so long to get up and running again because the damage was so severe.

Alison told the Mercury: “We needed to get a lot of work done as all stock in the shop was damaged by the smoke and had to be disposed of.

“This caused us to suffer a huge loss in donated stock – which is all kindly donated by people in our community.

“This negatively affected our income. The shop fittings, including mannequins and rails, also needed to be replaced at a cost to the hospice.”

At the time of the incident, the hospice described the fire as ‘pointless’ and ‘upsetting’ and said it feared young families in the area, who regularly visited the shop, would be badly affected by its closure.

However, the hospice confirmed this week shoppers would still be able to pick up a bargain at the new-look Aller Parade shop despite the huge financial challenges posed by the fire.

Alison said: “The new shop will be opening in the same format – everything is on sale for £1.

“We look forward to welcoming our customers.”

The new shop will open at 9.30am on March 6. For more information on the hospice’s shops, visit www.westonhospicecare.org.uk

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