MEMBERS of the Crowle community have cut the first turf ready for contractors to start work building ‘The Shop at Crowle.’
It is the largest community project in the area for two decades and local supporters, as well as volunteers who will serve in The Shop, project committee members and representatives from many local organisations came with their spades to mark this major step forward.
The new shop, which will be run wholly for the benefit of the local community, will be a 50 foot x 20 foot timber-clad building, located next to Crowle Parish Hall. It will have a small café and outside, seating area, serving light refreshments.
Stephen Denne, chairman of the shop’s management committee, said: “As well as convenience items, The Shop will give local people easy access to products from two dozen local suppliers and farmers, providing valuable support for the rural economy.
“It will also be a new social focus in the community, not only for shoppers and patrons of the café but also those who work there, providing training and development opportunities across all ages and backgrounds.”
The Shop will have a part-time, paid manager, but will be run largely by volunteers.
Sue Cole is leading volunteer recruitment and said: “The Shop is an exciting project which has inspired many local people. We have had a tremendous response from the community. As well as 50 volunteers to serve in The Shop, many other people have generously given their time and expertise.”
Members of the community committed £26,000 in investments in shares and donations, and £69,000 was raised via grants – including more than £23,000 via a New Homes Bonus allocation from Wychavon District Council, following an application by Crowle Parish Council.
Further cash came from the Severn Waste Environmental Fund, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Wychavon District Council Business Start-up Grant, Worcestershire County Councillor’s Discretionary Fund, and Crowle Charities. The Shop is expected to open in summer 2018.