Hundreds of Preston families enjoyed a packed day of entertainment at the fun-filled official opening of the city centre Specsavers store’s £500,000 redevelopment and extension.

The Friargate store, opened by Galloway’s Society for the Blind charity trustee Bob Mills, now provides world-class eye care and hearcare right in the heart of Preston incorporating new facilities, space and services to customers.

At the heart of the community 

The expanded store, which is also now almost double in size, has created eight new jobs.

The official opening saw the community come together to enjoy street magic from 'Stephen the Magician' and children’s entertainment including balloon modelling, face painting and a colouring competition all day.

To commemorate the event, the store made a £1 donation to Galloway’s for each sight test conducted in the seven days following the opening.

Well worth the wait

Taking over the neighbouring Friargate unit, the expansion has created more space for customers, improved accessibility for those with mobility problems and the major modernisation of all its services.

The store has nine testing rooms, two of which are ground floor, and a dedicated room for hearing tests. This means the number of sight tests and contact lens appointments available is significantly increased.

The development has also allowed the store to extend the opening hours of its popular hearing clinic from once a week to every day, representing a major boost for hearing care in the city.

The new store now hosts its contact lens clinic twice daily.

The development was certainly well worth the wait after the building programme was delayed by on-site flooding when some pipes burst in January, putting the project back five weeks.

And the store is definitely be a sight to behold with new impressive glass frontage and state-of-the-art equipment offering the highest standards of eyecare to customers.

A spectacular fun-day

Store retail director Chris Shore thanked the Preston community for showing their support for the opening.

Chris says: ‘The wonderful turnout just proves that we were right to invest in the store and ensure that we offer the best possible service to our customers and the local community.

‘This was a tremendous moment for our team and we were extremely excited to be able to show the people of Preston exactly what we’ve been creating.

Ophthalmic director Sean Buckley adds: ‘We would like to say thank you to all the entertainers who joined us and to everyone who came to enjoy the celebration.

‘We look forward to many more years of business in Preston and would like to thank our fantastic customers for their loyalty and support.’

Local charity benifits

Galloway’s Society for the Blind strives to support local blind and partially sighted people, helping them to regain their independence and reduce the effects of minimal visions.

Emma Russ, Senior Fundraiser at Galloway’s Blind, comments:  ‘We were delighted to be involved in the opening of the newly refurbished Specsavers store in Preston. It was a great opportunity for us to raise awareness and funds for the work we do.

‘As a charity – we strive to support local blind and partially sighted people regain their independence and reduce the effects of minimal vision.

‘We do this through our talking newspapers, sight advice centre and variety of services and we need to raise over £1million this year to be able to continue this.’ 

All Preston store information