A CHARITABLE organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 1.7 million people has unveiled plans to transform a former motor components store into a donation centre.

The Salvation Army has applied to Darlington Borough Council for permission to lift retail restrictions on the premises overlooking the North Road and Thompson Street East crossroads to enable it to open a donation sorting and distribution centre, and a 203sq m shop.

Martin Way, of the Salvation Army Trading Company, said the proposal would bring the prominent building, which has been vacant for some years, back into economic use.

He said: “The larger format of this type of property with on-site parking enables us to receive donations of and sell larger items such as furniture and electrical goods that we wouldn’t have the capacity for in our smaller high street shops. It is anticipated that the majority of the sales area will be given over to the sale of furniture and other larger items.”

Mr Way said the centre would promote the recycling of donated goods.