DORCHESTER remains in the media spotlight with television cameras flocking in from around Europe weeks after Wellworths opened its doors.

Tourism bosses in the town have welcomed the interest and hope people will continue to visit throughout the year to support the town’s economy.

The story of a former Woolworths shop employee taking over the old store on South Street and re-employing the laid-off staff has captured the imagination of the world’s media.

Two weeks ago a 500-strong crowd turned up to watch Chris Evans open the store which gained strong interest from television crews and newspapers.

Yesterday, two foreign film crews visited the town, one from Denmark and one from Germany, as well as a BBC film crew. Manager Claire Robertson said the interest since she decided to open the store has been ‘unbelievable’ with people ringing constantly to interview her.

She said: “It is pretty mad that people are still so interested and what has surprised me is that they have come from all around Europe.

“It is a good story because everyone is struggling at the moment and it’s good to hear a positive story.

“Also it is bringing people to Dorchester – which can only be a good thing.”

The former Saturday girl has also been followed around by a BBC television documentary team for the last month, which will be aired next month.

President of Dorchester Chamber of Commerce and town crier Alistair Chisholm said: “I have never seen anything like the amount of media interest for the store and the town as the Wellworths store opening.

“It is an extraordinary story and people are already coming in droves to see the store – rather like a tourist attraction.”

He added: “It’s a hell of a good story for the town and at the moment there is interest for nearly all the empty shops – things are looking up.”

Phil Gordon from Dorchester BID also welcomed the publicity and said it was time for the town to focus on the positives.

“It is up to the traders and people of Dorchester to seize the opportunity and cash in on the excitement,” he added.

News producer Ute Koboldt from the German public broadcasting channel ZDF said: “Claire had the guts to do it and bring back the staff that had lost their jobs.

“I think it is wonderful and my first impressions of Dorchester is that it is a lively place where business is doing well.

“There is so much media interest from Europe because there is nothing like this anywhere else – not even in the big cities.”

As well as appearing on all the major British television channels and newspapers, Wellworths has featured in international newspapers, radio stations and television shows.

The BBC documentary about Claire’s journey called How Woolies Became Wellies: One Woman’s Fight For The High Street will be aired on BBC1 on Thursday, April 2 at 9pm.