A NEW antique showroom specialising in taxidermy is set to open its doors next month.

Campbell's Antiques will be holding a launch weekend on March 5 at Shawwell Business Centre on Stagshaw Road in Corbridge.

Chris Campbell, 32, from Ryton, is the sole owner of the showroom.

He said he has so far received a supportive response to the news of his up and coming independent business. 

"It's been a really good response so far. Everyone seems like they want to support local businesses," he said.

The launch weekend will be a crucial point for the business.

"There will be free drinks, free prosecco, free beers, and tea and coffee. There's no obligation to buy, and it's most important to get footfall through the door," he said.

Chris specialises in taxidermy and has spent the past year training at UK antique fairs, selling taxidermy to dealers from across Europe, who would then sell the items on.

Opening the showroom is finally the right time for Chris as he was running out of space for his stock where he was previously storing it in Newburn. He was forced to pile items, which was not well presented when customers came to browse his collection.

When he saw the space at Corbridge, he could imagine the different areas for his collection.

"I could picture different rooms, like the hunting lodge, where all of the taxidermy collection would be kept," he said.

He specifically chose a location away from the high street as taxidermy can be a controversial subject.

"It's more of a showroom than a shop. We'll be open Thursday to Sunday and then it will be private viewing outside of those hours," he said.

This is the first opportunity Chris has had to display and showcase the items he has to offer in a carefully laid out space.

As well as taxidermy, he is also selling decorative war art, antique furniture and religious artifacts. He specialises most in the South African market due to his personal preference.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to come within touching distance of these animals, like lions and gazelles," he said.

Over the past few days local people have bought signs and a peacock display piece from the showroom. 

"It's a big eclectic mix of everything I would want in my house. I purchase older collections through house clearances, I import from mainland Europe and South Africa, and I also work with UK taxidermists to source stock," Chris added.