Rising from the flames - Arson-hit charity shop back up and running
PUBLISHED: 08:24 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:24 13 February 2020
A charity shop which lost its Christmas trade after being ravaged by an arson attack last year is back open for business.
The Break charity shop on Cromer Road in Hellesdon was rocked in September after a fire tore through its home in the former Firs pub.
The blaze resulted in the charity missing out on thousands of pounds of potential funds through stock lost, damage to the property and the shop's temporary closure.
However, after a four-month restoration project, the charity is now back open for business with repairs complete and new stock gathered from the community.
The store had its grand reopening on Wednesday, February 12, having started collecting donations a week before.
Member of the community made sure the shop was freshly stocked with clothes, collectibles and bric-a-brac, as loyal customers returned through the doors once more.
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A spokesman for the shop said: "What was great to see was the volume of items that have been donated from the local community who have really rallied around to support Break by coming in with donations in the last few weeks, and in fact some people have been storing items while the shop has been closed, ready to bring in to us.
"The shop was also nicely busy with many regulars coming back to the shop."
Lesley Leigh, Break's retail business manager, previously said: "This has been a horrible time for both staff and locals to lose such a lovely shop that's used by the community to help Break support its young people."
The reopening comes just a few weeks after the charity unveiled its latest sculpture trail - GoGoDiscover T-Rex - which will see a score of brightly coloured Tyrannosaurus Rex statutes form a trail across the city later this year.
Simon Clarke, 51, has been charged with two counts of arson relating to the shop.
Clarke, of Lower Clarence Road, Norwich, was remanded into custody and is due to appear at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, February 17.