Fittleworth Community Shop and Café
***We are making good progress in raising the necessary funds for the shop and playground projects. As you know we raised an impressive £41,500 from the share offer earlier this year. We have also held a number of fundraising events – to date these have raised just over £4,500 far exceeding the £3,000 target we set. Grants form an important element of our funding strategy and we have received £35,000 to date. More details below about our grant applications in our new section on Funding below. ***
***Our October newsletter is now published and available below.***
We have had this artists impression drawing produced showing what our new shop and café will look like. We hope you like it!
The proposed shop and café is in the news again. See the following West Sussex County Times article
The Community Shop Share Offer
Our recent community share offer has been an important part of our fundraising strategy raising an impressive £41,500 towards the costs of the project (far exceeding the £25,000 target we set). There are 250 shareholders in the shop. Our shareholders are part owners of the business and will have a say in the running of the shop. Funds raised from the share offer will be used towards the build and fit out of the shop and towards initial stock and working capital.
The Community Shares Information Booklet can be found at the bottom of this page in the Community Shop Documents Section.
Why is a shop important?
At the beginning of 2016 a working party of the Parish Council was tasked with investigating whether Fittleworth would benefit from a village shop. It was felt that a shop would be a great asset to the village. As well as being somewhere to buy goods and local produce it would serve as an important social hub for the village. For those without access to transport a shop would be particularly useful. In addition, it would enable us to provide other valuable services, such as local post office services.
A survey was distributed to approximately 450 households within the parish and more widely to parents of the school and users of the sports and social club. The purpose of the survey was to see if there was sufficient support for a community owned shop and café within the village and to find out which goods and services residents would like the shop to offer. 82% of respondents within the parish thought that such a shop was either important or very important to the village and there were many who were prepared to volunteer to work in the shop and/or who would consider donating or buying shares in the shop.
The working party concluded that with such strong support for a shop and café the project should move forward. The results of the survey have been circulated within the parish (and appear below, together with a slide presentation showing the full results of the survey).
How and where will the shop be set up?
In October we held a Consultation Day on the proposed location and design for the community shop and café. Thank you to all the residents who came along and for the invaluable comments and suggestions that you made both on the day and subsequently to the village shop working party.
There was widespread support at the consultation for the brick and timber clad barn style building which we have proposed will be built on the upper area of the existing children’s playground in the recreation ground on School Lane. As an extension of the project we would move, extend and refresh the children’s playground.
As a result of the Consultation Day we have reviewed and refined the plans and have:
- Moved the proposed fenceline for the new children’s playground so that there is an unobscured view from the large doors and windows at the side of the village hall out onto the recreation ground. This will ensure that the area outside the doors and windows can continue to be used for village hall functions and events if required. We have also increased the distance between the playground and the car park as you were concerned about exhaust fumes and the proximity of the playground to the car park. Despite these changes, the new playground will be roughly the same size as the existing one.
- Revisited the situation regarding the two trees located by the proposed shop and new playground which are protected by tree preservation orders. We intend to discuss with the tree preservation officer the possibility of removing the lime tree as this is close to the new shop building but we will no longer seek approval to remove the chestnut as we have now moved the playground perimeter fence to the other side of the chestnut tree. We may however apply to manage the height and spread of this tree.
- Increased the number of glazing panels in the walls in the café end of the building. This will ensure greater light within the café and will improve views out onto the recreation ground.
- Opted for a phased approach on the children’s play areas, provided we can raise the necessary funding in time. If possible, we will progress the children’s area behind the sports pavilion before work on the shop and café and adjacent play area commence so that there are some facilities available for the children to use whilst the main play area is being built.
Our planning application has now been successful and planning permission has been granted (http://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OJDE45TUFJG00).
We also required formal approval of the Charity Commission to allow the shop to be built on the recreation ground. This consent was granted earlier this year. This consent, together with our planning permission, means that we have all the formal approvals we need for the project to proceed. Full steam ahead!
To enable the shop and café to be owned and run by the community for the community a Community Benefit Society (CBS) has been set up, called Fittleworth Community Shop Ltd. The initial members of the CBS are a mix of Parish Councillors and other residents of the parish, although it should be noted that the CBS is its own entity and is now independent of the Parish Council. People in the community will be able to buy shares in the CBS through a share offer. Shareholders will vote on its future direction and key decisions and there will be a Management Committee elected by the shareholders. More information on the share issue in the CBS will follow once the shop location has been decided and when any necessary consents, such as planning approval, have been obtained. In addition to raising funds through the share offer, we also hope to receive donations and will be applying for grants to finance the set up of the shop.
The rules of the Community Benefit Society can be viewed through the following link:
Community Shop Monthly Newsletter
As there will be lots happening over the next year as we turn our vision into a reality we have launched a monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
Each month’s newsletter can be accessed through the links below.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list for our newsletter, please email email@example.com
February 2017 – http://eepurl.com/cDOQpT
We have prepared a Business Plan for our community shop and café. This will support many of our grant applications and has been prepared following research and extensive dialogue with other community shops and cafés.
The shop and playground projects are significant ones which will deliver valuable and long lasting facilities to our community. The funds we have to raise are considerable – the combined projects will require around £440,000.
We have in place a detailed Funding Plan which has identified 4 sources of funding:
- Community Share Offer – this is now complete and as noted above raised an incredible £41,500 far exceeding the £25,000 target we had set
- Grants – we have submitted 11 grant applications for the shop and playground projects for a total of £250,000. Many of these grant funds are very oversubscribed so it is important to note that not every one of our applications will be successful. So far we have received grant offers of £35,000 (from South Downs National Park Authority (£10,000), Chichester District Council (£15,000) and the National Lottery Awards for All (£10,000))
- Donations – we are very fortunate to be supported by our community and to date we have received generous donations of £17,000 from local businesses and individuals. We have also been offered some wood for the build from the Barlavington Estate which we hope to use for the external cladding of the building and some of the internal roof structure
- Fundraising – more on this in the next section below. Again we have exceeded our target for this element of the Funding and have already raised £4500 from events held during the year.
We set a modest target of £3,000 to be raised from a series of fun fundraising events to contribute towards the shop and playground projects. We are delighted to report that we have far exceeded this target – we have raised over £4500 so far.
This money has been raised from a number of events – £150 from our Nature Trail and Scavenger Hunt, £450 from the S Party, £125 from the Bingo Night, £600 from the Live Music Night, £725 from the Harvest Supper and just over £2500 from the Race Night. A very genuine thank you to all of those who have attended these events and to the small army who have helped organise and run them.
We have just 2 fundraising events left in 2017 – do join us if you can. All the proceeds go to the shop and playground projects.
- 25 November – Zumbathon. Kerri Chipper is holding a special Zumba fundraiser at the Village Hall from 9.30 – 10.30am. £5 per person (no children under 14 please!)
- 2 December – Variety Night. 7.30pm at the Village Hall. Tickets (£5 per person) now on sale from the School, Sports Club and at the November Village Market)
We are always delighted when the shop gets a mention in the press. Read all about the shop in the following articles in the West Sussex County Times.
If you have any questions or would like to know anything further about the project, please do get in contact:
Alison Welterveden firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865650
Revd Colin Datchler email@example.com 01798 865472
Mick Foote firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865156
Sammi Leese email@example.com 01798 865106
Shelagh Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865036