Community stores official opening

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Broadwindsor is in celebration mode with the opening of its new community stores in the old telephone exchange in Drimpton Road tomorrow.

The official opening at 11am on Saturday 6 April marks the culmination of months of hard work by local people.

The ribbon will be cut by Ellie Guppy, the winner of the shop poster competition, selected from entries from Broadwindsor Primary School children. It will be a very special event for Ellie as she also has her ninth birthday on that day. Runners-up were Alfie Marsh, Kitty Neary and Ryan Leader.

Afterwards, there will be refreshments at the school next door, where visitors can look at the display of posters and enjoy a celebration cake given by Fancy That Cakes of Beaminster.

There will also be special offers during the day and a draw for a selection of prizes including an iPod and docking station.

Background information

When the original shop in the Broadwindsor Square closed at the end of August 2011, it seemed at first that there might never be another shop in the village. But a team of residents, with tremendous backing from the community, embarked on the road to prove it could be done.

Unsuccessful attempts were made to buy or rent the original shop, and at one time a temporary shop in the grounds of Comrades Hall (the village hall) was considered. Despite setbacks, the village stayed committed and at the beginning of December 2012, the breakthrough came when planning approval was given to turn the old telephone exchange into a shop.

The finance to open the shop has been raised from donations, grants and a share issue, to which over 200 local people subscribed. Chalk & Cheese*, an organisation administering funds for rural development on behalf of the EU, also awarded the shop a grant. This money has meant that the shop fittings, stock and initially part of the manager’s salary have been funded.

The shop committee has also received a huge amount of encouragement and advice from outside organisations, particularly the Plunkett Foundation, the acknowledged experts in the community shop field. Broadwindsor’s is the 307th community shop to open in the country.

The shop manager is Sue Williams, who is assisted by Jane Sloman and a team of volunteers.

Broadwindsor Community Stores, The Old Telephone Exchange, Drimpton Road (next to the school) 01308 867922 www.broadwindsorcommunitystores.org.uk

*The project is part funded by the European Fund for European Development 2007-2013; Europe investing in rural areas. The project is being delivered through the Chalk & Cheese Local Action Group, with Defra as the managing authority. 

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