A WELL-KNOWN Darlington bookshop is moving into new premises.

Footprints Christian Bookshop on Skinnergate has rented the premises for 30 years but now things are changing.

The shop will be moving into new premises, a shop that used to be a William Hill bookmakers, at the other end of Skinnergate.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Footprints Christian Bookshop has been on Skinnergate in Darlington for 30 years. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSFootprints Christian Bookshop has been on Skinnergate in Darlington for 30 years. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Although the bookshop has been on Skinnergate for 30 years, the business was established in 1962, meaning the move to new premises coincides with the business' 60th anniversary.

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Sue Carpenter, who has been the shop manager at Footprints for over 20 years, said: “The move has been planned for a couple of years now, since before the first lockdown.

“The lease was coming to an end and we’ve been in this building for over 30 years.

“We were looking at places and nowhere really seemed that right or suitable, and some were just too expensive.

“We came across this old betting shop (William Hill Bookmakers on Skinnergate) and it was in a bit of a state.

“The upstairs was classed as derelict.

“We bought the building and about two and a half months ago we took ownership of it and started ripping it to pieces.

“It’s taken us two and a half months and we’ll be starting to move in the day after Boxing Day.”

Darlington and Stockton Times: Work began on the new premises earlier in December. Picture: FOOTPRINTS CHRISTIAN BOOKSHOP FACEBOOKWork began on the new premises earlier in December. Picture: FOOTPRINTS CHRISTIAN BOOKSHOP FACEBOOK

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Sue said a few surprises had emerged in the new shop including two hidden rooms upstairs that were completely bricked up.

“There was also loads of bricks and barbed wire in the loft space.

“It’s been a real challenge,” said Sue.

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Sue did explain though that this move will mean they’re able to reach more people in Darlington.

“We’re a Christian bookshop so we’re basically an extension of the Church and because we’re going to be in a more densely populated area of the town with more footfall, especially opposite Taylor’s the Butchers, we're expecting to make more people aware of the gifts and products we provide and to connect with more people in the town.”

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Footprints is set to be up and running in the new premises by the second week of January.

Back in August this year, it was decided at a Darlington Borough Council planning meeting that Skinnergate would undergo a rejuvenation project to "increase footfall and make the area more vibrant".

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