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Homeless charity to open new store after closure

New start: Emmaus staff, from left, Duane Unsworth, Guy Johnson, Conner Birkin and Roisceanne Kenny, and chief executive Tracy Hopkins outside the Ribbleton warehouse, before the opening of their new branch in Leyland

New start: Emmaus staff, from left, Duane Unsworth, Guy Johnson, Conner Birkin and Roisceanne Kenny, and chief executive Tracy Hopkins outside the Ribbleton warehouse, before the opening of their new branch in Leyland

A charity, which was forced to close its flagship store because of severe weather damage, is set to open a new shop.

Staff at Emmaus in Preston had to shut down the Friargate property earlier this year after a deluge of rain caused the ceiling to collapse.

But workers are now looking forward to getting back to business as usual, with the opening of a new store in Leyland next month.

Tracy Hopkins, chief executive of Emmaus Preston, said closing the city centre shop and cafe was “tragic”.

She said: “The roof had leaked considerably and it was too dangerous to stay there.

“We had to get everything out and all our stock and we’ve had to close the store.”

Tracy said they still had their superstore off Ribbleton Lane, but had no facilities to open another cafe.

She said: “It’s a real shame we can’t open a cafe, and it’s been sad that we’ve had to move out.

“But in the meantime, we’ve been looking for somewhere else and we have found a great place in Leyland.”

Their new shop, on East Street, is due to open on May 9. Tracy said: “We can’t wait - there’s a real sense of anticipation for this and people feel it will be a really great venture for us.

“All the money we make goes right back into supporting people who have been homeless - every single penny of it goes back for that purpose.”

Tracy said the charity still hoped to open another store and cafe, and said: “There are lots of isolated people in Preston and we wanted to create that community cafe atmosphere, so in time we would like to look for another cafe premises as well.

“We would like to open another premises in Preston and we are appealing to any landlords who could help us.”

 

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