A DEPARTMENT store has confirmed it "remains committed to Salisbury", with hopes to open by the end of next year.

In November of last year it was revealed that the former Debenhams site, which has now been lying empty for more than a year-and-a-half, could be turned into a Bradbeers department store.

The prominent site on Blue Boar Row has been vacant since Debenhams pulled out of the city, after failing to reach “appropriate terms” with the landlord back in April 2020.

Director of Bradbeers, Greg Davies, previously told the Journal that they "currently remain committed to Salisbury", but that plans had to be adjusted.

And this week Mr Davies confirmed that "nothing has changed" since his previous statement, published by the Journal in September: "The unprecedented events of the past eighteen months have led to a challenging time for the retail sector.

"As an independent business, we have faced these challenges with the resolve that has been in place since we started trading in 1837.

"We currently remain committed to Salisbury and, although our plans have inevitably had to be adjusted due to the current economic climate, we hope to be in a position to open a Bradbeers Department Store by the end of 2022."

In the meantime, a mural is currently being painted outside the site, paying homage to the countryside and Salisbury and Amesbury-inspired views.

Starting the artwork earlier this month, Samantha Redmill, art teacher at Bishop Wordsworth's School, wanted to "brighten the place up" with paint, so went to Bradbeers to seek permission.

After getting the green light, she, alongside other teachers, students and parents, has been transforming the space into a colourful nature landscape.

Read more: Find out who's behind the new mural on closed shop front

"It really has tidied it up a bit, it looks so much nicer than being boarded up," Mr Davies said.

"We never wanted the shop to be boarded up, so this is something really nice for the city."

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