Emergency shop secures future on site of former village store

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 July 2020

James Heappey visits Brent Knoll Emergency Shop on June 26.          Picture: Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

James Heappey visits Brent Knoll Emergency Shop on June 26. Picture: Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

Brent Knoll Emergency Shop

Plans to create a permanent community shop in a Somerset village have prevailed.

Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop.Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop.

Brent Knoll Community Shop has been officially registered as a Community Benefit Society with the Financial Conduct Authority.

The news follows a visit to the formerly-named Brent Knoll Emergency Shop by Wells MP, James Heappey on June 26, the same day the shop was registered as a Community Benefit Society.

Mr Heappey opened the emergency shop with an online ceremony back in April, and said this week that he had hoped it can ‘become a permanent fixture’ in Brent Knoll.

Brent Knoll village shop will close on March 1.Brent Knoll village shop will close on March 1.

The village shop and post office closed in March, with residents quick to replace the provision with an emergency store which opened on April 18.

On June 27, the shop hosted its speciality coffee and cakes event which saw more than 70 people enjoy a socially-distanced get-together which raised £180 towards the aim of a permanent community shop in Brent Knoll.

Member of the shop’s steering group, David Sturgess, said: “This has been a great weekend for our aim of delivering what our community consultation project revealed – the wish for a permanent community shop and the potential to restore our closed post office.

“We could not have achieved the opening of an emergency shop within ten days, nor the success of that shop, without the tireless input of our team of energetic volunteers.

“We’ve now consulted the community on what they want, so we’ll now be looking at increasing our opening hours.”

Brent Knoll’s Emergency Shop is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9-11am. It is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

David added: “We’re now working with the Plunkett Foundation towards our aim of a permanent community shop and a restoration of our village post office.”

The Plunkett Foundation is a national charity which has helped more than 300 rural community shops to thrive.

Speaking about his visit, Mr Heappey said: “Enjoyed visiting the emergency shop in Brent Knoll on Friday.

“It is an amazing example of a local community seeing a problem – they didn’t have a shop – and then making one themselves.

“I hope this can now become a permanent fixture for Brent Knoll.”


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