NATIONAL department store TJ Hughes is set to open in St Helens on Thursday, June 16, a spokeswoman for the chain told the Star.

The shop is expected bring around 60 jobs - both full- and part-time - to the town, the spokeswoman said, adding a store manager has already been appointed and some of the staff from the TJ Hughes, which closed five years ago, may be taken back on.

Work is currently underway at the 31,470 sq ft space in the Hardshaw Centre - the same unit the store occupied until 2011 - and stock is due to arrive next week.

A TJ Hughes spokeswoman said: "The store manager is currently in there, pulling things together - putting all the fixtures and fittings where they need to be.

"Stock will start arriving soon. It will be all the stuff we're known for - fashion, gardening, beauty and fragrance, luggage, homewares, curtains and linens."

Andrew Barrett, asset manager for London & Cambridge Properties, which owns and manages the centre, said the retailer had signed a 10-year lease for the store.

The closure of Tyrers department store in Bridge Street early this year was seen as a major setback to the town centre's fortunes, however, with JD Sports moving to larger premises, plans in the pipeline for a number of new cafes and dining establishments, retail confidence appears on the up.