20 new jobs for Portrush at the Station complex

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A NATIONWIDE factory shop is to open in Portrush’s landmark Station building, bringing a much-needed jobs boost to the town.

The Original Factory Shop is a Lancashire-based company which was established 20 years ago as part of Peter Black’s, selling over-makes and seconds manufactured for Marks & Spencer.

The company is pumping £250,000 into the store.

The store, which is hoped will open on April 7th, will create 20 new jobs.

With a pledge to be an integral part of the local community, the company, which has over 170 stores across the UK, is committed to small town centre shopping in an era when many other big businesses are moving to out-of-town shopping centres.

The news comes as another welcome fillip for the town which is undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment scheme and is looking forward with excitement to hosting the Irish Open in June.

The Times understands that The Original Factory Shop, which also has branches in Bangor, Kilkeel, Holywood, Dungannon and Omagh, will occupy around 11,000 sq ft of retail space in the historic Station building which will retain its original facade.

The Original Factory Shop has stores across the UK and stocks merchandise such as ladieswear, menswear, kidswear, sportswear, footwear, electricals, housewares, toys and gifts, beauty and fragrance.

The official website states: “We offer smaller communities a department store that would not normally trade in small towns, offering people who are unable, or find it difficult to travel to bigger towns or out of town shopping centres, such as the elderly or young mums without a car a very effective alternative.

“We aim to be part of the local community, bringing local jobs for local people that would not normally be found, regenerating shopping centres that would otherwise remain empty, providing an increase in customer traffic for local retailers as well as ourselves and breathing life into these otherwise quiet streets.

“The Factory Shops are a niche concept, providing local communities with a department store, packed with quality products at reasonable prices. The emphasis of The Factory Shop is on accessibility and value for money. Our extensive range of discounted products changes with new deliveries every week, creating an exciting retail atmosphere.”

Store Manager, Timothy Devlin, is confident that the store will breathe new life into Portrush’s town centre and in these testing economic times will play a very important role in the local community.

“There’s a real buzz around town about us opening and the feeling is that our blend of great value, well known brands and unbeatable prices will make us a firm favourite with local and visiting shoppers alike,” he said.

Timothy believes that the new store will be more than just another retail outlet for Portrush.

“Our aim is to be an integral and valuable member of the community and be active in it, supporting local people in as many ways as we can. We will be launching our ‘Make a Difference’ campaign in the town, where we will search for a local community organisation to support in 2012.

“This initiative has raised over £100,000 for local causes across the UK since it was founded two years ago and now we are looking forward to making a difference in Portrush.”