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Oct 2011


It’s now about a year since a group was set up to investigate ways to preserve a shop and post office in Spaxton. At an early stage it was decided that a new-build community shop, situated at the village hall was the best option. There was the prospect of major funding if we had all our plans in place by the end of March but it soon became clear that this would be unrealistic. Most Community Shops reckon their start-up times in years rather than months.

The anniversary is an opportunity to summarise what has been achieved:

· The Spaxton Community Shop Society has been set up as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community. All this means that we are properly constituted and registered with the Financial Services Authority.

· Over £24 000 worth of shares in the Society have been issued

· Grants and commitments of £32 000 have been secured from The Plunkett Foundation, The Quantock Hills AONB, Sedgemoor DC and our Parish Council. We thank all these organisations for their help.

· A detailed business plan has been drawn up showing the viability of a Community Shop

· Consultations with the village hall committee continue to ensure we achieve a design that is suitable for the site, functional and affordable.

Not all has gone to plan. The LARC scheme, potentially a large source of funds for rural projects, was withdrawn just as we submitted our application. But despite some set-backs we have achieved a great deal and we remain confident in the ultimate success of the project. The priority now is to maintain the momentum and get the money needed to take the project forward.

We are ready to apply to Village SOS, a part of the National Lottery. We would like to know if any other organisation in the village has applied to this fund or is planning to do so.

If you are a shareholder, volunteer or other supporter you will receive a regular newsletter to keep you more closely informed about progress. Where possible this will be sent by email. It is still possible to buy shares in The Spaxton Community Shop. Just phone 671276 or visit the shop website at www.spaxtonshop.com

In early September it appeared that the Post Office only had a few weeks left. This immediate crisis passed and by the middle of the month Tony was able to say that the Post Office will remain open for the foreseeable future. The Community Shop Society wishes Tony and Teresa well. They continue to offer a valuable service which many other villages have lost. However recent events have emphasised the need to work towards an alternative should the post office close.

Vernon Hughes
Spaxton Community Shop Committee

If you have any questions, please contact a committee member (671276 / 380) or email  info(at)spaxtonshop(dot)com  (Please enter the proper characters in place of those in brackets; this is to help avoid spam robots which search the internet looking for email addresses to target)