Fittleworth Community Shop and Café
***We had an incredible response to our share offer – we raised £41,500 from the share offer and have an impressive 250 shareholders in the shop! Share certificates will be sent out during September***
***We are delighted to report that we have now been granted the formal approval we needed from the Charity Commission to allow the shop to be built on the recreation ground. This consent, together with the planning permission for the community shop and café which has also been granted, means that we have all the formal approvals in place we need for the project to proceed. Full steam ahead!***
***Our August 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).
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 café.
We have 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 have nearly reached half way in our target – we have raised £1300 so far. This 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, and £600 from our live music night.
Please help us raise the remaining £1700 we need. We have a whole host of further fundraising events lined up for the next few months. Please add the dates to your diary. More information about each of them to follow.
- 30 September – Fittleworth Harvest Supper. With thanks to the Harvest Supper Committee who have offered to donate 50% of the profits to our shop and playground projects.
- 21 October – Race Night.
- 25 November – Zumbathon.
- 2 December – Variety Night.
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