Community shop opens in new premises

A community shop opened in brand new premises in Wiltshire in December following a loan from Co-operative & Community Finance.

The Ashton Keynes Village Shop, which is run by a community co-operative, was developed after a privately owned store faced closure when the owner wished to retire.

Following a survey from 1600 local residents 85% of responses indicated that the village shop was either very of extremely important to them.

Dave Sheppard, Treasurer of The Ashton Keynes Village Shop, said: “It was clear that we had to do something to make sure that we preserved the existence of the shop. Everything we have done so far has been supported by the local residents, businesses, and Parish Council.”

The existing premises was set to be returned to residential use, so plans for an Annexe to the Village Hall were put into place, with the agreement that the Village Shop can use it for as long as it wants.

The new shop which opened for trading on 14 December is situated on the main road through the village next to a bus stop and very close to the local school.

Much of the materials for the building, which is an annexe on the end of the village hall, were donated by local companies.

The shop is run by a team of paid staff members and volunteers and offers conveniences such as groceries sourced locally where possible, freshly bake cakes, newspapers’ and lotto tickets. The Management Board of the shop are volunteers.

In the future the co-operative hopes to harness excess heat created by the grocery chillers into a heating system for the village hall.