THE Ribble Valley mayor cut the ribbon to open Clitheroe’s new Homebase store — just 18 hours after anti-terror police had swooped.

And the arrest of two security guards inside the Queensway store last night brought a bigger than expected crowd to the event.

Two film crews, four photographers and eight national media journalists, alongside a crowd of people, watched as Coun John Hill did the honours.

Shoppers then flooded into the 25,000 sq ft store which has created 40 jobs.

Coun Hill praised staff at the store for opening as planned.

He said: “Opening shows that the people of the Ribble Valley are not being put off by these events.

“There have been a lot of shoppers.

“We have a wonderful community spirit and I don’t think these events will cause any problems between different groups.”

Store manager Sue Webster added: “Yesterday’s events were difficult, but colleagues ensured we had everything ready for the opening and we are very proud of their spirit.

“We would also like to thank residents for their tremendous support.”

Meanwhile Manpower Direct, a security firm based in Ilford, Essex which employed the men, has launched an investigation.

An employee who answered a call to the firm but who would not give his name, said: "I'm not prepared to comment.

"We have got an investigation underway. We are working with the police and security industry.

"A statement will be released later."

The firm specialises in providing uniformed guards 24 hrs a day nationwide according to its website.