SHOPPERS in Barnstaple have only until tomorrow (Thursday) to wait until Wilkinson, the value home and garden retailer, swings open the doors of its newest store in Green Lanes Shopping Centre, Barnstaple. The 12,500 sq ft store, situated in the former W

SHOPPERS in Barnstaple have only until tomorrow (Thursday) to wait until Wilkinson, the value home and garden retailer, swings open the doors of its newest store in Green Lanes Shopping Centre, Barnstaple.

The 12,500 sq ft store, situated in the former Woolworths premises, will be officially opened at 9.00am with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed by The Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Jeremy Phillips, Wilkinson family director Lisa Wilkinson and store manager, Shaun Bore.

To celebrate the launch, Wilkinson will be hosting a fun ocean themed activity day. Giant pirate stilt walkers will be performing outside the store and Arnold Bradury, chairman of the Barnstaple and District RNLI, will be attending to collect a donation from the store manager in support of the valuable work performed by the region's life guards.

Children and teachers from Springfields Nursery have also been invited to collect a donation of Wilkinson vouchers as a thank-you for their hard work creating ocean themed posters in the run-up to opening day.

As a special treat for younger shoppers, Barney Bear, the Green Lanes Shopping Centre kids' club mascot will also be making a guest appearance on the day.

Alongside the entertainment, Children's Hospice South West will be keeping shoppers' hunger at bay by selling locally baked cakes and buns to raise money for the hospice.

As well as enjoying the celebrations, shoppers will also be able to browse Wilkinson's extensive range of homeware, garden and cleaning products, DIY, stationery and toys. The store is set to offer fantastic value on top name brands, as well as 'Wilko' own brand every day essentials.

Shaun said: "Preparations are in full swing for the opening day celebrations and the team is working really hard to ensure everything is ship-shape to welcome the first shoppers through the door.

"We would like to invite the whole community along to celebrate with us and are really looking forward to sharing the day with so many worthwhile local organisations."

The community theme will continue into the weekend as Wilkinson will host a family fun day on Saturday. There will be face painters in store between 10am and 4pm and staff will be handing out free sweets and balloons.

Still a family owned firm after 75 years of trading, Wilkinson is committed to Britain's high streets and is an active supporter of local charities, community groups and care organisations.