BOBBY'S department store is to open in Bournemouth next month - 50 years after brand disappeared.

The store in the iconic former Debenhams building will begin trading on Saturday August 7.

Bobby’s was one of the original old department stores, opening in 1915 in the Square.

Ashley Nicholson, Director of Verve Properties who owns the building said: “Covid accelerated change already underway in our town centres with retailers facing with enormous challenges but it also presents an opportunity for a complete reboot."

The first elements of the phased scheme will include a large beauty hall with a large number of local and ethical brands.

Also in the initial opening will be an artist run space and new gallery focused on international contemporary art, a traditional ice cream and coffee parlour, outdoor seating in the Square and a sushi restaurant.

And there will be a showcasing opportunity for the best of local talent for gifts as well providing classes and demonstrations and DROOL, the first food hall for dogs.

Later in 2021 the building will see the opening of The Bobby & Co Market Hall featuring independent traders and will be spread across the entire first floor alongside Bobby’s Bar, the Deli, Coffee Lounge and Bobby’s Emporium Liquor store.

More elements are planned to open throughout the year and into 2022, including DISTRICT - a smokery, serving craft beers a top floor fine dining restaurant, roof top bar, onsite bakery and gardens.

Mr Nicholson added: "Community, localism, sustainability, and experience will dominate the new era of inperson shopping – and we have worked to ensure they will be the focus of our repurposing of Bobby’s.

"We aim to be an iconic building of regional significance in the heart of Bournemouth town centre. The aim of our project is to prove that there is a future for high streets across the UK.

"The way forward is to bring together the community by hosting an ever-changing rota of events and activities whilst providing products locally sourced that can’t be bought or experienced on the internet. Sustainability isn’t and must not be a fad - it is the new normal.”

Verve are restoring the building to its original splendour, including new ornate first floor balconies.