More than two years after it closed Helston's former JobCentre building has new tenants.

There has been much speculation over who has taken over the site in Coinagehall Street and now the Packet can reveal it is to reopen as a charity shop and welfare centre, by some familiar faces.

The Fishermen's Mission is relocating from Meneage Street to the three-storey building, where it will be able to expand what it offers and also open a welfare centre for fishermen and their families in need of support.

Fundraising manager Julian Waring will also be based there, bringing all its services under one roof.

Shop manager Melinda King said: "I'm so chuffed with it. It's just so lovely to have some space."

She added that, despite its size, the rent was actually cheaper on the new building than for the previous shop and it also meant they no longer need to keep a separate building for storing donated items.

It currently remains the UK's only dedicated charity shop raising money for the Fishermen's Mission, with 88p from every £1 raised going to the charity.

Falmouth Packet:

Melinda King, shop manager of the Fishermen's Mission charity shop

The ground floor will be the main shop, selling all the previous range of goods - just more of them. This includes clothes, books, household items and bric-a-brac, children's toys, paintings and electrical goods, as the shop has its own PAT tester.

On the second floor will be an area for ball gowns, suits and children's party dresses, as well as a whole room for fancy dress items, which will also become the charity's Christmas pop up shop each December.

The top floor will then be used as the welfare centre, with regular visits from the area's Mission superintendent.

This is something Mel said she has wanted for a while, ever since a fishermen first came into the Meneage Street charity shop looking for clothes.

"We didn't know he was a fisherman at first. We found out he was homeless, as he had an accident and couldn't work.

"We set him up with clothes and items, and within 37 hours we'd rehomed him," she said, adding that a welfare centre could help many others in this position or who were struggling financially.

The relocation has been a year in the making, with an enquiry first going in on May 19 last year and the charity finally getting the keys just after Easter this year, on April 14.

Mel now hopes everything can be ready in time for June 15, when all non-essential retail businesses can reopen following coronavirus closures, if the refit can be completed and all the necessary social-distancing measures are in place.

A major refit is underway to move all the fixtures and fittings from the old shop and create new ones, with a large number of local businesses giving their support by donating materials.

This has included Peter Slinn of Bradfords Building Supplies giving 30 litres of painting, shelving and all the screws needed, along with Lewis from Jewson donating wood for staging and new changing rooms and Sam from Travis Perkins also donating wood, with Plumb Crazy and James Birch Construction also giving support.

Helston Town Council has also given £2,000 towards the project.

Mel would like to hear from anyone who has the time and skills to create a children's area in the shop, which she pictures having a curved partition in the theme of a boat. Anyone able to help can contact Mel on her personal Facebook page.

She also hopes to start monthly story-telling sessions there in the future, adding: "There's a couple of fishermen that tell really good stories."

She will also be looking for more volunteers, to do everything from sorting and ironing to tidying and putting items out.