A local charity has shared plans for an ‘exciting’ venture to open a new retail store this coming Autumn.

Tynedale Hospice at Home has acquired a new premises on the outskirts of Hexham and expects to expand its retail operation by venturing into the sale of second-hand furniture.

The Hospice is hoping to move into a unit on Bridge End Industrial Estate which will operate as a furniture showroom, with customers able to browse or use a click and collect service.

Mike Thornicroft, CEO of Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to offer affordable second hand furniture in the community which will provide sustainable funding for our care services.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen an increasing demand for our home-based end of life nursing care service and we need to ensure sustainable funding streams to support those in our community who need it the most.”

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Bridge End’s Industrial Estate already has several businesses including the Plumb Centre, Dove Ltd and Screwfix.

The unit that the Hospice hopes to occupy will not only showcase second-hand furniture but also be a new home for its growing e-commerce operation.

Charlotte Pearson, Head of Income Generation at Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “Over the last year, the Hospice has increased its online sales of donated clothes and goods through sites such as eBay and Depop with the closure of non-essential retail during national restrictions.

“We’ve outgrown our current base on the top floor of our Hexham Shop on Battle Hill and this new premises offers an opportunity to continue developing our online presence.”

The Hospice is currently awaiting the outcome of a planning application to Northumberland County Council for change of use of the property.

If that is successful, the Hospice hopes to open the doors at some point in Autumn 2021.

Should the shop at Bridge End go ahead, it will be the fifth store in Tynedale Hospice at Home’s retail network, following on from its main shop and bookshop on Battle Hill in Hexham and other stores in Prudhoe and Ponteland.

Tynedale Hospice at Home usually makes one third of its income from its charity shops. However, in 2021 that’s expected to rise to 50 per cent.