SAINT Catherine’s Hospice is to open its first flagship department store in Malton.

The charity is merging its two shops in the town into a bigger outlet at the former Ethel Austin store in Wheelgate.

For a number of years Saint Catherine's has run a furniture and separate clothing store both in the same street as the new shop.

However, when the opportunity for a bigger property came up, the charity decided to merge the two and create its first department store where shoppers can buy everything from woollies to wardrobes.

Debbie Jewison, area retail manager for Saint Catherine’s hospice shops, said they were really excited by the prospect of opening their new branch.

“It was too good an opportunity to miss and is going to be a one-stop flagship shop selling furniture, clothing, electricals, media, bric-a-brac and books.

“We hope to provide a great service to the whole Malton community. Everything we sell will be value for money but will help us raise vital funds for patient care.”

The move will mean merging two teams of volunteers from the hospice shops and Debbie said new volunteers were always welcome.

“We want to say a really big thank you to our fabulous volunteers for supporting us through these changes,” she added.

“We appreciate their help very much. Hospice shops offer volunteers valuable work experience and some choose to study for an NVQ in retail to boost their employment prospects."