Hawkchurch to get new community shop

PUBLISHED: 08:01 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:07 20 May 2019

Shop treasurer Meeri Wallace (left) and volunteer Julia Bessant. Picture Chris Carson

Shop treasurer Meeri Wallace (left) and volunteer Julia Bessant. Picture Chris Carson

Archant

Lottery funding will provide £60,000 towards the scheme

A new and bigger community shop is to be built at Hawkchurch - thanks to a £60,000 grant.

The money is being provided from Power to Change - part of the National Lottery - which supports community business ventures.

The total cost of the scheme is £78,000 - with the rest of the cash being raised from the sale of community shares and shop profits.

The current shop, housed in a portable cabin, near the village hall, was opened in 2014 and has proved such a success a larger home is now needed.

The new store will remain on the same site at Norton Yard, in the centre of the community.

But it will be bigger and have a coffee area where people can meet.

Robert Ott, chairman of the shop committee, said: "The shop can expand and provide a service in a rural area for shopping locally, thus reducing the carbon footprint."

He said they were grateful to Derek and Sue Cowling for providing the site on their land. He also praised the team of volunteers, shareholders and those who helped put the funding bid together.

"Thank you to Power to Change for turning our dream into a reality," he added.

A spokesperson for the Community Business Fund at Power to Change, said: "We believe putting business in community hands transforms places.

"This grant will help Hawkchurch Community Shop do even more for shoppers and their local community. It puts them in a sustainable position long into the future."

The present shop will stay open during the construction of the new premises, which will get under way in June.

The team hopes it will only need to close for a few days for the switchover which, it is hoped, will happen in August, when there will be a grand opening.

* The Community Business Fund is designed to support existing community businesses with grants to help them progress towards self-sufficiency. This could be through increasing trading income, securing an asset or significantly reducing revenue costs.

The programme is for existing community businesses based in England. Grants of £50,000 to £300,000 are available to cover capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value and refurbishment costs. It is also available for project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees and volunteer costs.

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