Pitton Community Store Newsletter – February 2023
Since our last update there has been good progress in setting up a community shop. Here are the headlines:
• We have received a generous donation which will enable us to cover some of our set-up costs including initial legal advice. Community initiatives rely on local support, and so we are very grateful!
• We have completed our analysis of potential locations for a village shop and the only feasible location is the Village Hall. Discussions between the community shop and village hall committees will take place over the next few weeks. The village hall committee has formed a shop working group and they are currently seeking legal advice to understand how a community shop can be achieved within the objectives of the original trust deed. Given that both organisations aim to benefit the local community we anticipate a positive and productive discussion to agree the best way forward.
• We have completed the first draft of our business plan. If you would like an electronic copy please contact Lorna Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are still aiming for the shop opening towards the end of 2025, though as mentioned in our last newsletter, we can only firm the dates once more detailed planning is completed.
• Several other applications for initial funding have been developed, including a request to the Parish Council.
• All going well, we still plan to launch the community share offer in summer 2023. We will hold a public meeting at that point to outline the offer in detail and answer any questions from prospective shareholders. A share prospectus will be made available well in advance of the meeting.
• We will continue to provide a regular newsletter. If you have particular questions in the meantime, please send them to the Board via Lorna Taylor and we will do our best to answer them and also include questions of wider interest in our next newsletter.
• We had one question from our previous newsletter to ask if we had fully explored using the current shop and whether putting an ACV on the shop would make a difference.
Rachel has confirmed that she intends to stay in her own property after retirement and that she has no intention of selling or leasing all or part of it for use as a shop, or for any other commercial venture. As the property is not for sale, and there is no indication that it will be put up for sale in the foreseeable future, the raising of an ACV now will neither prevent the closure of the shop nor require the owner to sell it to a community entity. Our approach therefore, has been to find an alternative site and open a new shop at the point of the current shop closing. Timing is important as without continuity we will lose the current Post Office contract and this will mean, at best, an occasional visit from a Post Office van rather than a regular service.
• Lastly – thankyou to those of you providing encouragement and offers of help to get this initiative started. So many villages have lost their village shops and post offices altogether and it is good to see that people in Pitton are willing to give their time to prevent this happening.
Lorna Taylor on behalf of
Pitton Community Store Limited
Board of Trustees