Chester Zoo’s vet took centre stage at the opening of a brand new store in Cheshire Oaks.

Steve Unwin officially unveiled the new Debenhams store last Thursday, August 21 to shoppers.

The company launched a search to find a hero and Steve, 42, who is originally from Auckland but has lived in Chester for the past 11 years, was nominated as Ellesmere Port’s local hero because of his achievements at the zoo and loyalty to the area.

Debenhams store manager Penny Rawson, who judged the competition, said: “Who better to open our brand new store than Steve, who is clearly passionate about the animals he looks after and is a shining example of a hardworking hero who dedicates his time to others and deserves a little thank you and some TLC himself.

“We were really excited that Steve joined us on opening day.”

The official opening of the new Debenhams store in Cheshire Oaks with Chester Zoo vet Steve Unwin
 

Steve added: “The zoo keeps me incredibly busy and no day is ever the same: from looking after the endangered species to teaching field vet clinical techniques.

“However, it’s a job I love and as I’m normally in vet coveralls, I’m overjoyed to open the new Debenhams store and get suited and booted for the day.”

The new store boasts beauty houses including Clarins, Benefit, Lancome, Urban Decay and Estée Launder.

There will also be designer fashion with the Designers at Debenhams range including collections from Julien Macdonald, John Rocha, Ben de Lisi, Patrick Grant and Jasper Conran.