Disability charity Scope is to open a shop in Ilkley as part of an initiative which will see it establish six to eight new shops in “thriving” towns across the country, despite the challenging economic climate.

Scope says it is bucking the trend and expanding its chain of charity shops as other retailers succumb to a tough economic climate and many high streets are left littered with empty retail units.

The Ilkley shop, on The Grove, will be Scope’s first shop to open this year.

All of the new shops will be funded by a scheme that allows charitable donations to go further by giving people the chance to invest in the new stores.

Instead of directly donating to Scope’s work on the ground with disabled people and their families, donors can loan or donate £50,000 to open a new shop.

Each shop then generates as much as £30,000 a year, which Scope can use as a source of ongoing funding to continue providing advice, support and services. It also means that within two years a loan can be paid back.

Area manager Gill Cookson said: “We are all extremely proud that the new Ilkley shop will lead the way for Scope’s retail expansion in 2013.

“Ilkley is a lovely area with a tight-knit community and we hope our new customers will enjoy browsing through the high-quality clothes, books, CDs and bric-a-brac on sale.

“The new shop will also give people a chance to come in and find out a bit more about Scope’s vital work with disabled people and their families.”