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Aug 2011

THE LATEST ON THE COMMUNITY SHOP

The purpose of the May Share Offer “deadline” was to make sure that we had enough support to continue with the project. That aim was certainly achieved. We haven’t stopped selling shares and the total is now over £24 000 ! Thanks to all those who are now members of the Spaxton Community Shop Society. Our intention is that the funds given by shareholders will be used only when everything is in place for the project to go ahead. If you have not bought shares and now want to join the Society please click on "Share Offer" on the left of the page

Since that last report the main effort has been in filling in the paperwork for grant applications and settling on a design for the shop building.

Applying for grants is a time-consuming business. Those holding the purse strings are, understandably, careful in the way they dispense their funds. Over the last couple of months much groundwork has been completed for grants that will fund a large proportion of the total costs. Earlier efforts have already resulted in an offer by the Quantock Hills AONB to fund up to £10 000 of our costs in this financial year. Together with the share issue this shows that a Community Shop has local support and increases our chances of getting further grants.

Another step that will help our grant applications is gaining planning permission for the new building. We have considered 3 designs for the shop. All are for a building covering about 100 square metres which, as well as the shop area will contain space for a Post Office, a store, office, small kitchen and toilet. The shop society’s preferred design is a wood-framed building using locally available materials and sited next to the Village Hall car park. It would provide opportunities for local involvement in its construction and being made from sustainable materials it may attract more funding. We have had conditional support from planners and our Village Hall and we will carry out further consultation before applying for formal permission.

Thanks to all those who help or have offered help with the shop project. As plans develop more offers will be taken up and more volunteers will be needed. We would still like to hear from people with experience in retailing who could advise the society’s committee.

Vernon Hughes

Spaxton Community Shop Committee
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