THE man behind plans for a new department store in Evesham says an article in the Journal boosted interest in his idea.

Tony Fisher hopes to hold an open day giving more detail about his LIFE Emporium department store in the next few weeks. He said: “After the article about my plans, 40 businesses contacted me interested in the idea.”

The shop will allow 30 businesses the chance to sell their goods on the High Street for £5 a square metre.

Mr Fisher, who also plans a café in the derelict downstairs area of Evesham Town Hall, said: “This is a shop for local traders to take space in the town centre that they wouldn’t be able to afford.

I hope it will attract small businesses such as crafts and art people.”