A CITY centre store which has been empty for more than a year has reopened as a clothes shop, bringing a welcome boost to the high street.

The unit in Durham’s Silver Street has been a flagship store for the city for decades, but had been empty since April 2018, when Marks and Spencers closed its city centre shop in favour of an out-of-town outlet at the Arnison Centre, in Pity Me.

Clothes retailer M&Co, which had been operating from a shop in the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre until earlier this year, opened there yesterday.

M&Co chairman Steve Knott said: "We have been in Durham before and are pleased to be moving to a prime location in the city. We hope to bring M&Co to more people – to local people, students and their families and visitors as well.

"We are very excited. It is a big investment for us and we are happy to be doing it in this wonderful city."

He added: "We very much believe in local high streets and our whole offer is very much geared to the local community and giving good value and good prices to our customers, with fashion which is accessible to everybody."

The store employs local 17 people. Some are new jobs, while others are former workers who have returned.

Store manager Wendy Office, who cut the ribbon to open the store, said: "I am very excited. We have the same management team.

"This is a much better location and the customers are saying they are pleased to see us coming back to the city."