A FLAGSHIP store that will be “much more than a charity shop” will be opened by Kemp Hospice in Kidderminster town centre.

The hospice will be taking over fashion store Intouch, in Coventry Street, after it closes at the end of the year.

Chief executive Terry Osborn said: “This will be a flagship store for our retail operation and obviously a significant income generation opportunity for us at a time where there are lots of changes in hospice care.

“It’s vital that we respond to that and start to raise more money. More importantly, it will mean we will have a public face in the middle of Kidderminster.

“It’ll be a shop front for the public and a place where we can show people the services that the hospice provides.

“We may well use some of the space for workshops. We have started working with children and young adults for the first time recently and we hope to continue this.”

The store will be Kemp’s sixth retail shop and will be opened on March 1 next year.

Mr Osborn added: “We’re all full of ideas. It will be much more than another charity shop.

“It’ll cost us very little to convert, we’re hoping to get the shop fittings donated and we’ll be appealing for volunteers to come along and wield a paint brush to help us.

“We’re looking to generate about 20 per cent of the funds needed to run the hospice in the shops next year.”

In April this year, Kemp Hospice was awarded nearly £400,000 as part of £60 million set aside by the Government to improve hospice care.

The hospice will be using its £397,800 grant from the Department of Health to expand into the garden at the Mason Road site.

Preparatory work for the garden project will take place at the end of this month, with the work being completed by March next year.