Ahead of their time

I had the great pleasure of visiting Berrynarbor Community Shop in Devon recently.

I had the great pleasure of visiting Berrynarbor Community Shop in Devon recently. What struck me was how forward thinking they had been when they were formed in 2004. Three aspects stood out for me.


Firstly, their use of community shares as a major funding source was several years ahead of its time.

Secondly, the deal they struck between the owner of the old shop owner and the council is still ahead of its time. This gave them four years to show that a community shop works and plan a larger store or to have proved that the idea didn’t work, then either way to vacate the shop which was then allowed to be converted to housing. Right to Try at its best.

Thirdly, they were great community marketers. Whenever someone moves into the village, they receive a welcome pack, urging them to invest and volunteer in the shop. This has meant that the level of investment has continued to rise.

Berrynarbor is certainly one to watch.
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