A GIFT shop in Thornbury has been shortlisted for a special award recognising the best across the South West – 18 months after it was destroyed in a fire.

Heritage in Thornbury, which has been selected as a finalist in The Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2017, re-opened its doors to the public in October 2015, less than two months after its gift shop and coffee rooms were destroyed in the blaze.

The awards, now in their 15th year, were launched by Progressive Gifts and Home magazine to recognise and reward the UK's very best gift retailers across the retail spectrum.

The shop is now in the final six for the South West Independent Gift Retailer of the Year, with the winner set to be announced at a special lunch on May 4 in London.

“It is crazy to think that we are in the top six because there are some truly great shops out there,” said the shop’s owner Tabi Marsh.

“It’s a vote of confidence from the industry and a good indication that we are on the right track after the fire.

“More than anything it is a huge testament to the staff who really pulled together after the fire, and to our customers as there is no shop without them.

“It has been tough to come back but I am glad we have.”

When asked why she thinks the shop was nominated, Tabi suggested it was because the shop doesn’t “rest on its laurels.”

She said: “We like to keep trying new things and are always willing to learn.”

Sue Marks, editor of Progressive Gifts and Home magazine, said: "These dedicated awards for gift retailers have risen immeasurably in status over the years and are now universally acknowledged as being true accolades of excellence.

"Being selected as a finalist was a fantastic achievement. There was a huge entry this year, with some outstanding, first class entries."

The awards recognise and celebrate not only the top independent and multiple gift retailers regionally and nationally, but also outstanding retail employees.

Further details on The Greats Awards can be found at www.thegreatsawards.co.uk