Brent Knoll’s village shop will close down on March 1st, it has been confirmed this week.
Despite the news, concerned villagers are continuing with a community bid to try and save it from shutting permanently.
They hope to retain the shop by creating a community enterprise, with volunteers helping to run it and share-holding “members” investing in the project.
During the last week of February, 600 copies of a questionnaire will be delivered to homes throughout Brent Knoll and East Brent.
Another 700 copies will be made available at pick-up points around the village, while an online version of that questionnaire has already attracted more than 75 responses. The deadline for returning them is March 7th.
Owen Cullwick, clerk of the Parish Council, says: “The purpose of this questionnaire is very simple: if the proposal for a Community Shop is supported by a majority of parishioners, if sufficient people volunteer to help to staff the shop, and if enough people agree to buy shares to be voting members, the project can secure the backing of the Plunkett Foundation.”
“The Plunkett Foundation is a national charity which has helped 300 villages to set up successful Community Shops, but they need to know that there is sufficient local support for a community shop.”
“It is crucial, therefore, that as many Brent Knoll and East Brent parishioners as possible take the three minutes required to complete the questionnaire.”
“The early indications from the online survey already suggest that there is strong support for the concept of a Community Shop, with sufficient people willing to be volunteers to run the shop, and enough people prepared to invest in shares (priced between £50-£100) to become voting members of a new community enterprise.”
“But the final outcome will be determined by how many people complete and return the questionnaire – and the collective results of their submissions.”
The Post Office had already put the premises into suspension.