In December 2016 we were lucky enough to be awarded two major grants for Phase 1 refurbishment and development of the shop facilities.
The first was from the West of England Rural Development Programme LEADER fund, totalling nearly £40,000 (plus a commitment from us to contribute several thousand more). This was for a wide range of improvements to the property – including roof insulation, replacement of windows, new flooring, refurbishment of the office and heating installation.
The second was nearly £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, for new chillers, freezers and an EPOS till system.
We are extremely grateful to these grant-awarding bodies for supporting our community shop.
Work began in April 2017, during which we operated a ‘mini shop’ in the front quarter of the Stores, before temporarily relocating to The Fox over the road.
Phase 1 refurbishment was completed in June 2017, and we celebrated with a party in July!
Take a look at the Stores before and after refurb – what a transformation!
The shop’s makeover has resulted in a modern, light and airy shopping environment. Our fleet of glass-fronted refrigerators and freezers has vastly increased the range of chilled and frozen foods we can stock. We now offer quality freshly-ground coffee to take away or drink in.
With the shop busier than ever, the refurbishment has also boosted local employment. Our shop supervisors were able to increase their hours, and a shop assistant and a cleaner were newly employed. The modernised office space is rented by a small business, who have also recruited locally.
More improvements are planned, when funds allow.
These include replacing the shopfront to improve energy efficiency and security, and to improve access for people who are less mobile. Our ‘wishlist’ would also include replacement of our more dated shelving units.