New green community shop for Cornish village

Work has started on a new ‘super green’ building for the only shop in the North Cornwall village of St Tudy, thanks to financial assistance from us. The community-owned shop is expected to move into the new premises at the end of August.

The new shop will provide a Post Office facility, and will stock produce – both food and crafts – sourced locally where possible. The shop currently has over 50 volunteers, one – Ivy – worked in the previous shop for over 50 years. The new structure will be timber framed with a slate roof, and is being built to high efficiency and environmentally friendly specifications.

Upon hearing that the old shop would close in April 2011 a team of local volunteers came together to establish the community owned shop, which is temporarily operating from the old shop’s premises and has been trading profitably for over eight months.

The new shop will serve St Tudy’s 520 residents, as well as 200 people from the neighbouring parish of Michaelstow and tourists from a nearby holiday park. St Tudy has over 150 residents over the age of 65, so the enhanced services of the shop will aim to serve the needs of this less mobile group of locals.

Les Eastlake, one of the shop’s directors, said: “The volunteers we have are superb, the shop has really pulled the community together. People really enjoy coming to and working here. New people have moved to the village and have been eager to volunteer, as it integrates them into the community.

“The endorsement and support we have received from organisations like DEFRA and Co-operative & Community Finance has been invaluable. Their support maintains the viability of rural communities, and we would not have been able to proceed with our project in this way without it.”

The loan from Co-operative & Community Finance supports grant money from DEFRA and £50,000 raised by St Tudy locals in a community share issue and through fundraising events.

Ian Taylor said: “The St Tudy Community Shop is one of the best groups I have come across in terms of their skills and enthusiasm, and the great amount that they have achieved. So many people in the village are involved and excited, and the great enthusiasm and drive for the project spreads throughout the entire community.”