A NEW business in Copeland is bucking the trend and is preparing to open.

DeMounters hardware store will be occupying 48 to 49 South Street at Egremont.

Owner Maq Masi hopes to have it ready to begin trading on July 20.

The store will sell a range of goods from bathrooms and plumbing, building materials, hardware, DIY tools, electricals and even stationery and garden centre items.

Maq, who lives in Birmingham, said he spotted a gap in the market when he was refurbishing his pub, 'The Cat Inn', which is also in Egremont, on Main Street.

He said: "It was difficult to find many hardware, plumbing and electrical items to renovate my pub, The Cat Inn.

"I often had to travel to Whitehaven or Workington from Egremont for small things.

"It was troubling when I travelled and did not find items which I needed.

"I foresaw a brilliant opportunity offering all the necessary DIY tools and hardwares.

"I wanted my idea to be materialised as soon as I could have the right size of store and location which I fortunately got!"

He also recognised a need for stationery and electrical items in Egremont and said he will stock these too.

He has hired employees who will start working for the business from July 20.

There are also plans to sell around 40,000 products online through their website www.demounters.com in addition to Amazon and eBay.

Mr Masi also has plans to develop his other business, the 16th century Grade II pub The Cat Inn.

In addition to selling alcohol and providing guest accommodation, he would like the pub to begin selling food.

He said he is currently going through the planning process of trying to get a kitchen installed.

The pub, which reopened on July 4, would see its workforce increase from five to 11 once the kitchen is installed and food could be served.

He said it would allow him to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at the premises, which has four guest apartments available to book.