This is a copy of an update by Annabel Grout on the situation with the Village Shop and Post Office that appears in the January edition of the village newsletter. (Click here for previous news.)
“The results of the village survey were overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the village shop open, and so the working group has been considering how to establish a viable project.
The working group has notified the Post Office that the community is willing to take over the running of the village post office but have not so far had any substantive response from the Post Office.
We have confirmed with the freeholder that the community will take on the shop and post office but we do not yet know the length of the lease or the rent that will be required. Subject to necessary building consents, the freeholder has indicated a willingness to provide an office space and lavatory behind the shop.
There are a number of potential sources for grants to enable the fitting out of a new store once the building works have been completed, but grants are unlikely to be available for running costs, salaries or stock. Community shops in small villages often struggle to break even and an element of ongoing financial support from within the Parish, as well as volunteering, may be necessary to keep the shop open.
The working group looking into all this is now: Sophie Jowett (Chair), Malcolm Caird, Anthony Crandon, Hennie Cooper, Kathy Grace, Annabel Grout and Sally Ohlson.
Is there anyone in the Parish who has retail experience and would be interested in becoming the manager of the shop, or would anyone be willing to take on the post office? If so, please email: Lurgashallvillageshop@gmail.com “