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Feb2011

Standing Room only at Community Shop Meeting!

On Thursday 20th the Village Hall Pavilion was full to hear the latest news of our Community Shop project.

The evening started with an entertaining talk by John Lees who has been a driving force behind the Bicknoller Community Shop. It was inspiring to hear how a small village overcame many problems to develop a shop that has been going for 17 years. He also passed on some practical advice and showed how the shop had become the heart of that village’s life.

John was followed by David Fisher. As a worker for the Plunkett Foundation he helps groups like ours in the south-west set up Community Shops. He described the origins of the Foundation and the help that it can offer.

Then it was our turn. Two of the Community Shop group described the work done so far and the plans for the immediate future. The work of the Community Shop committee up to mid-November was described in the last SCN. Since then it has been decided that the best option is a new, timber-framed building next to the village hall car park. The major grants needed for this depend on planning permission, a business plan, formal rules being agreed and evidence of tangible support (ie money!) from the village.

By the time you read this we should be ready to apply for planning permission. The design of the shop will be on the shop website http://sites.google.com/site/spaxcomshop . The business plan will be complete and we will be an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. That leaves the support of the community.

Very soon you will be given the opportunity to buy shares in Spaxton’s Community Shop. The shares will be £5 each and no one will be able to buy more than £20 000 worth, sorry. A share gives you part-ownership of the shop and makes you feel good. It is important that as many people as possible buy shares so that the ownership of the shop is spread amongst the whole community. It also shows those holding the purse strings of the grants that this project has wide support. Don’t expect a great return on your money but John Lees reminded us that a shop raises the value of houses in the village. So if you own your own home work out the benefit to you and buy shares!

Spaxton is well-known for its great community spirit and David pointed out that we are larger than many villages with flourishing community shops. This, and the support shown so far promises well for the future of this project.

If you want more information or can help the project please contact Simon Haswell 671289 or email spaxcomshop(at)gmail(dot)com  (Please enter the proper characters; this is to help avoid spam robots which search the internet looking for email addresses to target) 

Vernon Hughes, Spaxton Community Shop Committee
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