DURING a week that has seen the plight of several retail giants there was some positive news with the opening of a new B&M store in Bournemouth.

The discount chain has taken over the former Homebase unit at the BCP Council-owned Mallard Road Retail Park.

The doors opened at the new store, which includes a garden centre, at 9am this morning.

To mark the store's arrival, members of staff were asked to nominate a local charity that they thought deserved some VIP treatment for the work they do to support the community.

Colleagues chose the team from Bournemouth Foodbank who took centre stage this morning to officially unveil the new B&M store.

Bournemouth Foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, all working together towards stopping hunger in the local area. The charity provides three-day nutritionally balanced emergency food and support for individuals and families in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Echo: B&M Bournemouth store manager Anup Pate presents Bournemouth Foodbank with £250 of vouchersB&M Bournemouth store manager Anup Pate presents Bournemouth Foodbank with £250 of vouchers

In addition to opening the store, the foodbank team received £250 worth of B&M vouchers to go towards supporting the Bournemouth residents.

B&M store manager Anup Pate said: “It was really exciting to welcome customers through the doors this morning, the feedback so far has been fantastic.

“A big thank you to the team at Bournemouth Foodbank who helped us open the store today, we hope that our donation can help them to continue to do the great work they do in supporting the local people.”

Customers at the B&M store will be able to find a range of branded products including toys, food & drink, pet range, health & beauty and homeware, as well as hundreds of plant varieties and gardening essentials in the garden centre.

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In 2018 the Daily Echo reported how Mallard Road Retail Park was bought by Bournemouth Borough Council as an investment for £49 million.

The following summer Homebase quit their premises on the council-owned site after failing to reach an agreement to reduce the rent bill of nearly £1million a year.