The RSPCA has opened a new charity shop in Barnstaple after closing four of its other shops down.

The RSPCA has opened a brand new shop in Barnstaple, after closing several of its charity shops in North Devon.

The new shop, at 56 Boutport Street, will also house the branch office so people can find out more about the support available.

Shops in Combe Martin, Torrington, Braunton and the previous shop in Barnstaple have all recently closed.

A charity spokesman said this was due to the income from the shops reducing ‘significantly’ in recent times, and the demand for the charity’s work increasing.

RSPCA volunteer Paula Cullingford, RSPCA inspector Suzy Hannaby and Barnstaple shop manager Luci Laing.RSPCA volunteer Paula Cullingford, RSPCA inspector Suzy Hannaby and Barnstaple shop manager Luci Laing.

The decision was taken to close the shops and replace the Barnstaple one with this bigger store. The Braunton shop is anticipated to reopen again soon.

The RSPCA North Devon branch, which is an independent charity operating separately from the national RSPCA, has also appointed a new board of trustees.

RSPCA trustee Maggie Baker said: “We are so pleased to open this new store.

“It’s in a great location and we hope this means more people will come and pick up a bargain while helping to transform the lives of the most needy animals.

“The money raised from the shop will be spent directly helping sick, injured and neglected animals from across North Devon.

“It’ll also fund neutering campaigns and community action days so we can get out and about to help animals and their owners.

“We understand that times can get tough and people can face unexpected difficulties in life, but we can offer help to ensure people can continue to give their animals the care they deserve.”

RSPCA inspector Suzy Hannaby did the honours of cutting the ribbon at the new shop as the team welcomed scores of customers who had queued around the corner to be the first to pick up a bargain.

The store, which will be open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, is looking for donations and volunteers who can spare a few hours a week to help out in the shop.