Residents in the Gower village of Reynoldston, Swansea, have launched a community share offer to take over their local shop and post office. The group has appointed a volunteer management committee to start the venture and take it through the first year’s operation.
With this share offer they wish to run a viable business for the benefit of the community. The community share offer needs to raise over £100,000 to buy the post office building. Village residents can buy shares for a minimum of £50, with a maximum of £20,000 allowed. The share offer will be open until 29 January.
Residents decided to take over the shop, the only one in the village, after the current owners, Debra Pickard & Sheena Jenkins announced they would be retiring. The offer to buy the premises has been accepted.
The group has already appointed valuation agents and established Reynoldston Community Shop Ltd as a community benefit society with the Financial Conduct Authority.
With support from the Plunkett Foundation they have set out rules for the community shop.
Donna Smith, Plunkett’s frontline project manager, said: “We’ve been supporting the community from the early stages, and we’ve helped them to set up a community benefit society using our model rules, which have been developed especially for community shops. We recommend that communities adopt legal structures that enable genuine community ownership with equal and democratic control, and the majority of community co-operatives are registered as community benefit societies.”
Gower MP Byron Davies is backing the project. He said: “I am very impressed with the way that everyone involved with this venture has worked. They have made terrific progress in a relatively short period of time. They deserve success because retaining the last main post office in south Gower is crucial not just to Reynoldston but also to the larger catchment area it services. This is also the village’s only shop and as such is a focal point and a hub for the community.
“If they do manage to save it, the entire community needs to keep on supporting it. The old adage ‘use it or lose it’ was never more true than in circumstances like these.”
- To find out more, visit: www.reynoldstoncommunityshop.wales