Villagers Come Together to Save Village Shop and Post Office in Burley Gate

Burley Gate is a small, rural village in Herefordshire whose village shop and Post Office are due to close in July 2015 with the sale of the current premises and relocation of the present owners. A determined and enthusiastic group of villagers have come together to try to relocate the shop and Post Office to a portable building located on the Village Hall car park.

Nick Comley, Community First Outreach Business Coach, has supported the group with The Plunkett Foundation, to form a Community Benefit Society and to formulate the business plan, share and loan offer documents. The Society will purchase a portable building with security enhancements for the Post Office on the car park of the village hall, near to the primary school and nursery, to take advantage of passing trade and parents dropping off or collecting their children.

On the launch of their share offer the Society raised around £25,000 towards the total of £48,000 for the project. The closing date for shares and loans is mid-May so there is still plenty of time for investors to register or apply for shares or to make a loan.

Martin Hoskins, Co-Chair of the Society can be heard taking part in a BBC Hereford and Worcester interview with Andrew Easton at 2 hours 43 minutes and 45 seconds into this broadcast on launch day.

Martin says, "We wanted to thank you for all you help in getting us to this point and for all your work on our behalf to get the documentation ready."

Nick Comley says, "Burley Gate is yet another great example of community shops responding to market failures to keep services and facilities in dispersed rural communities. We are confident that their business plan and model will be successful and that the community shop will be a sustainable asset for many years to come."

Visit the Burley Gate Community Shop website here.

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