Village residents set to reopen shop

Members of Bishop Wilton Community Ltd are hoping to get the shop reopened by the end of September.
Members of Bishop Wilton Community Ltd are hoping to get the shop reopened by the end of September.

A thriving village community is embarking on a major campaign to reopen its shop.

In June last year the store in Bishop Wilton closed, much to the dismay of residents.

As well as providing essential goods, the shop was an informal hub for the community to catch up on news and meet each other.

A few local people formed a working group to see if the community was interested in running its own shop.

Early this year, the Bishop Wilton Community Shop Ltd was formed.

Following two public meetings and the circulation of a questionnaire there proved to be an overwhelming demand for a community shop.

The success of the project now depends on raising over £50,000 very quickly and recruiting a bank of about 80 volunteers.

The group is now appealing for people to join the campaign, either through the share scheme or by volunteering in the shop.

Also needed is anybody who can help with the refurbishment and fitting.

Practical offers of help and/or offers to supply fitting would be gratefully received.

A private individual is in the process of buying the existing premises which will then be leased to the community shop at extremely favourable rates.

The business will be owned and run by the community.

A spokesman for the project said: “The shop was popular with parents from the village school and it was these parents who kick-started the campaign for a shop.

“The community now needs to raise the money to refurbish, fit and stock the shop – originally a chapel – all before the end of September when they hope to open.

“A share prospectus was published on in April and it is fair to say there is huge excitement and enthusiasm locally.

“The success of the project now depends on raising over £50,000 and recruiting a bank of 80 volunteers to ensure the smooth running of the shop.

“The villagers are also determined to stock a very wide range of local produce.

“They are on the lookout for local producers who might be interested in supplying the shop.

“If you are interested in being part of our project or finding out more, please come to one of our launch meetings.

“If you are interested in being part of our project or finding out more please visit bwcommunityshop.co.uk, go to our Facebook page at facebook.com/bwcommunityshop or email bishopwiltonshop@gmail.com.

“We are looking forward to hearing from anyone who wants to be part of this project.”