A CYCLE shop set up nearly twenty years ago with just £5,000 at a former abattoir is expanding and taking over a prominent empty building.

Saddle Safari is moving from its lower key base in Crown Lane to Dean Street, taking the place of the unit, which was once Computer Caravan.

The unoccupied unit is just around the corner from Spittal Street, on the entrance to the town, which has been criticised lately over its appearance due to empty shops.

The business, which has created two new jobs already this year, could be set to employ more staff when it moves on December 1.

Former Olympic bronze medallist, cyclist Willie Moore, works at the store.

Owner Andy Rackstraw who began the fledgling company after a loan from the Princes Trust in 1993 said: “I wouldn't have imagined it could be so successful when I started out.”

The current store was Marlow Abattoir before he took it over and the meat hooks were still used to begin with to hang stock from.

Mr Rackstraw said: “Our existing shop is quite cramped and it's a case of expanding to deal with the demand for bikes.”

Following the London 2012 games, sales at the shop shot up but there has been a longer term increase in interest in bicycles, he said.

“The Olympics are the icing on the cake but people have been getting on to their bikes increasingly over the past decade and it shows no signs of abating,” he said.

Mr Rackstraw did not want to say how much would be spent on redeveloping the new store but described it as a “significant investment”.

The shop, which has eight staff, will continue trading on Crown Lane until the move is completed.