Community Shop

After the closure of the Castle Bytham Stores and the No.10 Store in Little Bytham moves have been made to establish a Community Shop in theBythams area by a group of local residents.

The Bythams Community Village Shop (from the Glenside News May 2015 : 07/06/15 : MG)

From Peter Hinton, Chairman Bythams Community Shop Steering Group …

Although the project for a Community Shop is still stalled because of the Quarry Development project the steering group has still been busy with project planning.  To refresh you on the situation the Steering Group submitted a planning application for a Shop at the crossroads, on a green field site.  However this was overtaken in the Autumn when the Planning Application, including a shop, was submitted for the development of the brownfield Quarry site.  One effect the hold up with the planning process is having is to slow down the fund raising efforts of the Steering Group, from various grant schemes, simply because we are unable to say exactly what the shop will cost and where it will be built.

That said, the Project is legally registered as an ‘Industrial and Provident Society’ (IPS No. : 32400R) a change of legislation last year now refers to IPS as Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies.  Basically a company owned by its community, whose profits go back into the community.  The shop will not belong to any individual or groups of individuals but is administered by a management committee elected by its shareholders.  No member of the Steering Group will benefit financially from the establishment of the shop, nor will subsequent members of the management committee.  It is however an objective of the Steering Group to fund the project with a minimum of loan funding and preferably none at all, but source the capital from grants and a community share issue.  The latter cannot be traded but may be redeemed at some future date.  We have received some minor grants to fund ongoing administration costs of the project and have a number of grant applications pending that can be submitted once we can determine exactly where the shop will be built.

The basis of many of the grant applications is the preparation of a Project Plan – shop build, equipment and running costs and a Business Plan detailing how the shop will be staffed and stocked. An early decision was taken to include a cafe area in the shop to reinforce the role of the shop as a drop in ‘community-hub’.  The Business Plan assumes we will not be able to persuade the Post Office to re-instate its services but we are including services such as parcel collection, dry cleaning, shoe repairs and much more to make the shop more than just somewhere to buy groceries.  We have acquired some shop fittings already and fully costed the completed shop/cafe, subject to planning approval for our proposed structural build.   Both for good ecological reasons and to minimise ongoing running costs we have included energy saving and generating equipment as well.

These factors and much more are described in more detail on the shop website at where you can also find a video at from the Plunkett Foundation, explaining how community shops work with real examples.   More than 300 people have visited the shop website as I write and I will update the information on the planning application situation as soon as SKDC make their decision.

Peter Hinton
Chairman, Bythams Community Shop Steering Group
Tel : 01780 410968

Added : 07/06/15 : MG

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