»

Success in Affordable Housing underpins Village Shop Growth with £35K Council Grant

St Giles Village Shop

St Giles in the Heath has been a recent success story in Torridge with the building of 12 much needed affordable houses. Since these were completed and occupied a few years ago the demand for a local shop has grown and grown. With the next nearest shop nearly 6 miles away and a limited bus service many of the elderly in the village have also come to rely on the combined shop and post office. All of this led the organisers of the community run venture to look for ways that the shop could be expanded.

The shop committee successfully applied for a grant of £35K to Torridge Council's community fund, which covered just over 80% of the total costs. The build has seen an expansion in the floor area of the shop with new freezers, chillers and other equipment also installed. As a result the shop is now able to offer a much wider range of goods and fresh products, many supplied by local food producers in the area. The shop also employs 3 local people and is open 7 days a week.

Local Broadheath Councillor Pete Watson said:

" This is a real success story in the rural community where we have often seen the reverse in facilities closing and services dwindling. The organisers ought to be very proud of what they've achieved and I was very happy to support the grant application which contributed £35K to the project. The grant was obviously an important element to the projects successful outcome and forms part of the £800K in total that the Council has given to similar community projects right across Torridge."

Mr Ken Hamlyn - Chair of the Community Shop Project said:

"As well as our existing customers we have seen many new faces shopping and using the post office every day and with the new banking facilities this is another step forward. We have evidence of people wanting to come to the village because we have such a good shop and post office"

Picture shows Torridge & West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox and Torridge Broadheath Councillor Pete Watson celebrating the opening.

25 June 2018