A GIFTS and homeware shop visitors by countless residents and daytrippers in Ilkley for almost two decades is to close this month.

Owner of Opulent Designs, David Giddings, is about to retire and close the business - leasing the town centre premises to stationery chain Paperchase.

His co-director, Nick Waines, will run their other business, nearby toy shop Secrets & Surprises.

Mr Giddings, 65, says the time has come to retire, although he plans to make plenty of visits to Ilkley in future, and is pleased to see another retailer moving into the shop.

The shop was previously occupied by Broadbents booksellers for several decades. When My Giddings first established Opulent Designs, he also ran a restaurant on the first floor of the building.

Mr Giddings told the Gazette: "I've just loved being in Ilkley and all the time I've spent in the shop, making friends with all the ladies who've been coming to buy presents over the years. It's been a big part of my life."

In addition to the running the shop itself, Mr Giddings once served as spokesman for Ilkley Independent Traders group, which represented local businesses. He also secured celebrity special guests for the official switch-on of Ilkley's Christmas lights for about 13 years.

Opulent Designs is expected to close at the end of September.