THE owner of a popular Christchurch High Street pottery shop has been left 'heartbroken' after her store caught alight. 

Joannah Bishop, 55, owner of Better Craft and Paint on Christchurch High Street, has said she has been 'devastated' by the fire in her store on May 13 caused by an electrical fault. 

With Joannah away in Reading on a pottery workshop, the fire was first noticed by the tanning salon next door when smoke appeared from underneath the front door. 

Attended by three fire crews, it was quickly put out, however, it has scarred the inside of the building with Joannah suggesting costs to restore the store will be as much as £30,000. 

She said: "It's just been a nightmare, driving back from Reading, I was just thinking that I've spent two years redecorating it, building it, getting the business grown and developed and I was just devastated. 

"I didn't know what I was going to find and everybody's first reaction was, 'it could have been a lot worse', but for me, my heart and soul is in here.

"I've inherited some money from my parents who sadly died and I put that money into here. I've been bringing up my little boy here since he was five and he's now 19 so when I pulled up I was lost for words."

The fire created a power cut on Christchurch High Street from Marks & Spencer to Christchurch Library from 1pm to around 10pm that night.

Despite the knockdown, Joannah began work after being allowed to re-enter the building.

With plans to re-open mid-July, she hopes to get back to normal business as soon as possible and has shared big plans for opening day. 

She said: "I'm going to do an opening and, fingers crossed, get footballers from AFC Bournemouth to come down and open because my friend works there. 

"People have been so lovely, especially other pottery stores. People have reached out as far as Weymouth asking if I need help and support so the camaraderie has been really nice."

Joannah said to keep an eye on socials for upcoming updates.