RETAIL bosses have thanked residents for their support following a ram raid by giving an historic building they used as a temporary home a makeover.

The East of England Co-op set up a temporary store in the Duchy Barn in Dedham which is usually used as a community facility following a devastating ram raid at their High Street store in December last year.

After ten months at the barn, shop management were able to move their operations back to their rightful home in October.

But as a thank you they have completed renovations to the barn including new floor coverings and a new entrance sign.

They also helped with moving equipment the barn needed back from the storage units had been put in while the Co-op had moved in.

External work has also been done by the retailer along with Dedham Parish Council.

Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive at the East of England Co-op said: “The support we have had throughout the past year from the Dedham community has been completely overwhelming. "We are very grateful to Dedham Church, the parish council, particularly the chairman Sheila Beeton who was instrumental in bringing everyone together and the Duchy Barn Management Committee for allowing us to use the Duchy Barn.

"And a big thank you to all the clubs and groups that relocated their activities whilst we carried out the work to restore and fully refurbish our High Street store.”

To thank the clubs who use the barn for their support and co-operation, the East of England Co-op has also donated 50 new mugs and a new pin-board for their use.

Colin Biggins, secretary at the Duchy Barn Management Committee, said: “The barn is used for coffee mornings, youth club, art group and for bridge, it’s a lovely community resource.

"Whilst we have had an alternative, it’s not been quite as welcoming and as warm.

"It’s lovely to have the barn refurbished by the East of England Co-op and we are pleased to get it back looking so fantastic.”

The exact age of the building is unknown but it was previously used as a barn for an ancient manor house.