Community run shop in Wethersfield could be open to public by next summer and more volunteers are needed

PUBLISHED: 09:01 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:01 19 October 2018

The post office in Wethersfield closed in May, leaving the village without a shop. Picture: GOOGLE

The post office in Wethersfield closed in May, leaving the village without a shop. Picture: GOOGLE

Archant

A new community run shop in Wethersfield will open in June, the group leading the venture hope.

Following the closure of the last remaining shop in the village in May, a committee, called the Community Redevelopment of Wethersfield Shop (CROWS), formed to investigate running their own community shop.

The shop will sell “store cupboard items” and local produce and provide a place for less mobile people to shop, according to the committee’s website.

Committee member, Jo Kattenhorn said the preferred site for the enterprise was inside the village hall, and they would like to adapt the bus shelter and knock through a store cupboard to create space.

She added that the committee is aiming to open the shop by the middle of next year, depending on discussions with the Braintree District Council (BDC).

The start-up and building costs will be paid through fundraising and the community share offer scheme, which was launched on Sunday and asks villagers to buy a share of the shop for £20.

More than £2,000 worth of shares have already been sold and the committee are hoping to raise £20,000 through the scheme, however this amount could increase depending on required work.

Any profit made from the shop will go back into the community, Mrs Kattenhorn said.

Wethersfield Parish Council has given £750 towards the project, which has included paying for CROWS’ membership of the Plunkett Foundation, which supports community run businesses.

Initially the shop will be run by volunteers. Although 20 people have so far volunteered, more are needed to step up, with the committee predicting they will need about 60 volunteers a month.

Mrs Kattenhorn said the closure of the post office in May had increased the “isolation” of some residents.

She added: “We have noticed that the footfall in the village has really fallen. You see very few people wondering around the village now, and that increases isolation. A lot of people can get in their cars and drive to the shops but some people can’t.”

If you would like to buy a share or volunteer go to CROWS’ website at https://sites.google.com/view/wethersfieldcrows/welcome.

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