It’s been a month since a fire swept through a trading estate, devastating a community.

Bridport was left reeling after a fire broke out at St Michael’s Trading Estate, destroying a large number of offices, business spaces and art studios.

Work has been taking place to make the building safe again, and many tenants are still waiting to be allowed back inside to find out whether or not they have lost everything. For many, it’s been a stressful time.

Andrew Leppard is the main tenant of studio 5. His six colleagues lost everything in the blaze. Mr Leppard said: “Everyone is still shocked. The worst part is when you realise what you have lost, it feels like you are homeless. It’s very sad – it’s people’s careers.”

The public’s response to the fire has been noted, with estate tenants praising the community for coming together in an ‘overwhelming show of compassion.’

Last week, furniture maker and designer John Makepeace and his wife, Jenny, opened their beautiful home - Farrs House and Garden in Beaminster - to the public in aid of those affected by the fire.

An 'In Conversation' event with Claudio Munoz took place at the Bridport United Reform Church, with all proceeds going to the victims. Bridport Folk Festival planned some music events in aid of the cause and other groups and individuals are organising everything from plant sales to art exhibitions.

Many of the small businesses based at St Michael’s, including retail outlets, makers and artists, are still open and welcoming customers.

The fire, which broke out on the evening of July 8, started on the third floor of the Edwards building and is believed to have been caused accidentally, according to the fire service.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said the cause could have been 'an electrical issue or through refracted light on combustible materials.'

A fund is in the process of being set up in order to help those affected. More information will follow in due course.