Less than six months ago, it was the scene of a major fire that tore through a family business. But now Totton’s Creature Comforts reopened its aquatic centre on Saturday.
The newly rebuilt tropical and cold water fish centre, on Ringwood Road, welcomed naturalist Chris Packham to cut the ribbon. Most known for his role in presenting BBC’s Springwatch, Creature Comforts is Chris’ local pet food supplier.
“I love small family businesses and Creature Comforts is no exception,” he added.
“I have been coming here for 15 years and have kept snakes, invertebrates and dogs during that time; the aquatic centre always drew me in when I came here to pick up supplies.”
Now looks better than ever and is splendidly colourful and has a collection of animals that many people do not get to see.”
Back in September last year, the centre was gutted by fire, but despite the resulting heavy damage, all of the animals and fish survived.
Owner Jeremy Wingate said it was a great moment to have the centre open once again. “It has been a long haul, but I am glad and happy to to be open again.
“To see this many people here today to share the opening is also fantastic.”
Speaking about the design of the new centre, he added: “I have always had that vision of what it now looks like in my head, and I am happy that it is now open for all to see.
“The staff have all been really great by running the store whilst we worked in the centre; I could not wish for a better group of employees.”
Manager Richard Searley added his relief: “It is a big relief to have it open once again.
“I was devastating the morning we came in after the fire brigade has finished; it was a heart breaking site to see.
“But it now looks much better than before.”
The Ringwood Road store is open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, with reduced hours at the weekend.
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