THE owner of a new flower shop has praised the independent retail spirit of a town.

Aimee Pettigrew said orders had been overflowing at her new store Flowers By Aimee in Dalton.

The florist has opened her new shop in Market Street, down the road from the former Brocklebanks grocer where her business was previously stationed.

Miss Pettigrew said: “It’s absolutely amazing. I’m so excited to open this shop.

“It’s been really busy and we’ve had so many new customers.

“It’s been great to have a new look and show off what we are capable of.”

The shop recently drew in crowds for an open attended by Dalton mayor Nick Perie, to coincide with the town’s famous Christmas lights switch-on.

“We just had queues and queues of people coming in. There was a great community spirit and it’s great to stay trading in Dalton,” Miss Pettigrew said.

The florist heaped praise on the budding independent business culture in the town, with new shops opening over the past few months.

She said: “It’s thriving a bit more now from what it was. We have seen quite a few new businesses opening and the pubs are doing well.

“There’s more business coming in definitely.”

Miss Pettigrew said she was thankful the shop was able to open in time for Christmas as the florist has been inundated with orders for festive wreaths.

“We cannot get them made fast enough,” she said. “We’ve never sold as many.

“As soon as we’re making them we’re selling them.”

She said the old Brocklebank’s shop down the road had fallen into a state of disrepair, with broken electrics and a crumbling ceiling.

“The electricity exploded and the ceiling fell in on us. But thankfully we now have a new shop,” she said.

Dalton South councillor Wendy Maddox also hard warm words for the town's independent scene.

She said: "It's been nice to see a few new shops spring up. Some of them I'm not sure about but others are great.

"I'm really pleased for Aimee and it's good to see local businesses doing well."

Wray Brocklebank closed his greengrocers August after working at the shop or 42 years.

Another former Brocklebanks employee, Sherie Lovell, who worked there for 17 years, recently opened her own grocers. Carrying on the legacy of Mr Brocklebank, she has opened up in Market Street.