A STORE which brought much-needed jobs to Hartlepool has opened with dozens of customers queueing for an early glimpse.
There was plenty to keep shoppers amused on the first day of trading for Dunelm Mill which has opened on the Highpoint Retail Park, in Marina Way.
Wallace and Gromit characters were on hand to greet the public, Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation has been the official charity partner for Dunelm Mill since 2011.
The official opening ceremony for the 31,000 sq ft homeware store, on two storeys, was performed by Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond in one of his last tasks in the role.
“I am delighted to be able to share in something which creates jobs for the town,” he said.
“I am pleased it is Dunelm which has come here. I think they will be extremely popular and I hope they are here for many years to come.”
Store manager Ray Scott said passers-by were so keen to take a look round, some had even turned up yesterday afternoon.
He added: “I am excited by the store. Everyone I have met has said they were really keen for it to open.”
It takes the number of Dunelm Mill stores in the UK to 135 and created 50 full and part time jobs for local people.
The Hartlepool Mail reported recently how 800 high-calibre applicants applied for the posts.
One of the first customers was full-time mum Lin Chan, 32, from the Bishop Cuthbert area of town and her three-year-old son Calvin.
Lin said: “It is good that they have opened here.
“I was travelling to the one at Teesside Park so I don’t have to go there any more.”
The first Dunelm Mill store was opened in 1984 and has since developed into a successful nationwide chain of more than 130 stores with many more planned throughout the year.
Chief executive Nick Wharton said he was confident Hartlepool would “continue to play a big part in the continued success of the company”.
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