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Home 2018-05-13T19:14:23+00:00

WELCOME TO CHERITON FITZPAINE
COMMUNITY SHOP

The story so far

In August 2016 the people of Cheriton Fitzpaine learned that their village shop and Post Office would cease trading just before Christmas when the owners would be retiring.

Many people were very concerned about the loss of such an important community asset and a small group of like-minded people arranged a public meeting to see how the wider community felt. All the households in the area were consulted via a questionnaire and this highlighted great support for the setting up of a community-run shop.

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The loss of daily newspaper delivery was particularly keenly felt and so a newspaper distribution service was set up from the cider barn at the Ring of Bells.  The success of this service, run by dedicated volunteers, demonstrates the support that locals are prepared to give to a community shop. The initiative is already making a small profit each week and has now moved to the Methodist Chapel. It acts as a hub for people to meet and socialise as they collect their papers each morning.

Support was pledged, both financial and practical, a working party was created and a steering group set up. The difficult task of finding a suitable site began and many different options were explored.   In May 2017 the proposed shop was incorporated with the Plunkett Foundation as a Community Benefit Society and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. The original steering group was restructured as a management committee and the working party divided into four action groups.

There were many false starts in the search for a site but at the same time work was already underway looking at the practicalities of setting up a shop.  Plunketts offered vital help and advice on the best organisational structure for the future shop and on the writing of the Business Plan. The mammoth task of seeking potential sources of funding for the start up costs began.  Other community shops in the local area were consulted and visited and their example and experiences were hugely encouraging.

Barbara and Elly running the Community Shop stall at the Monthly Market

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Finding a site

Hopes for a permanent shop site settled on land ear marked for development at White Cross. In the early stages of the planning application for a housing development on this site the Management Committee approached the landowner to seek an agreement for an area to be set aside for a community shop.   He kindly agreed and amended the planning application to include an area for retail space.   Outline planning permission was granted in June 2017.  It may take 3 to 5 years for this site to be developed and the need for an interim temporary shop is clear.

Members of the Methodist community have generously offered an area at the side of the Chapel for the siting of a wooden structure to serve as a temporary shop.  The first phase of the project will concentrate on getting this temporary shop up and running.  There is a great deal of work ahead and everyone in the local community is welcome to join in, show support and get involved.

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OPENING TIMES

Monday to Friday
7.30am – 6pm

Saturdays
7.30am – 2pm

Sundays and Bank Holidays
7.30am – 9am
For newspapers only