Fittleworth Community Shop and Café
***Thanks to all who came along to the AGM on 25th January. If you missed it then you can read the Chair’s Report and presentations – they appear in the AGM section below.***
***WE HAVE NOW RAISED ALL OF THE £403,000 REQUIRED FOR THE COMBINED SHOP, PLAYGROUND AND YOUTH AREA PROJECTS. WE WOULD LIKE TO SAY A PARTICULAR THANK YOU TO OUR VERY GENEROUS GROUP OF DONORS AND THE VARIOUS GRANT BODIES WHO HAVE AWARDED FUNDS TO US BUT ALSO TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED US IN WHATEVER WAY – WHETHER YOU BOUGHT A SHARE IN THE SHOP, CAME ALONG TO ONE OF OUR FUNDRAISING EVENTS OR GAVE YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERTISE TO THE PROJECT. IT REALLY IS QUITE STAGGERING TO THINK TAHT WE HAVE RAISED SUCH AN ENORMOUS SUM AS A COMMUNITY IN JUST OVER 12 MONTHS. THANK YOU ALL. NOW THE HARD WORK STARTS – CONSTRUCTION IS DUE TO START IN APRIL!We***
***Did you miss out on shares in the shop last summer? Would you like to be a shareholder? Shares are available for purchase – all funds raised from share sales will go towards the costs of building, equipping and stocking the shop and towards ongoing running costs, once open. The share information pack and application form appear below.***
***Our January newsletter is now published and available below.***
The proposed shop and café is in the news again. See the following West Sussex County Times article
OUR FIRST AGM
We had a wonderful turn out for our first AGM of Fittleworth Community Shop Limited. Thanks to all who came. We had some useful discussions around volunteering, the possibility of including a post office local and our funding.
If you missed the AGM then you can still find out about all you missed from the Chair’s Report and Presentation Slides below. Also appearing below are our financial accounts for our first accounting period (2016/2017) and our membership strategy – which describes how we will look to increase our shareholding community and keep our shareholders informed about, and actively involved in, the shop.
AGM Presentation Slides
Accounts and Annual Return
The shop, playground and youth area projects are significant ones which will deliver valuable and long lasting facilities to our community. The funds we had to raise were considerable – the combined projects have an estimated cost of £403,000.
We have spent much of the past 6 months validating our costs model, looking at each item of cost to ensure that the costs are realistic and achievable and are as low as possible. We conducted formal tender processes for the build of the shop and the playground and youth area installation. We have obtained preliminary cost quotes for many aspects of the shop fit out.
We prepared a detailed Funding Plan which identified 4 sources of funding:
- Community Share Offer – this is now complete and as noted above raised an incredible £41,400 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 £142,000 (from West Sussex County Council Leader fund (£75,000), South Downs National Park Authority (£10,000), Chichester District Council (£15,000 for the shop and £8,000 for the playground), the National Lottery Awards for All (£10,000 for the playground and £10,000 for the shop) ,West Sussex Members Big Society Fund (£12,500) and WSCC (£1500)).
- Donations – we are very fortunate to be supported by our community and to date we have received a staggering amount of donations. We have received £208,750 from local businesses and individuals. We are so grateful to our donors for supporting the project – the project would not be able to proceed in its current form if it were not for their support. 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 – again we have exceeded our target we set of £3,000. We have raised just over £5,600 from events held – £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, just over £3,000 from the Race Night, £155 from the Zumba fundraising class and £420 from our local produce raffle. 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 now raised all of the £403,000 required for the shop, playground and youth area projects. Thank you so much to all who have contributed to the project – whether it’s from buying a share, attending a fundraising event or making a donation. We truly value your support!
The community share offer last year was an important part of our fundraising strategy raising an impressive £41,400 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.
Did you miss out on the initial share offer? Are you new to the village? We are now offering shares for purchase again. All proceeds from share sales will go towards the costs of building, equipping and stocking the shop and, once open, towards ongoing running costs. Please have a read of the information pack -the application form for shares appears at the end of the pack.
WHY DO WE NEED A SHOP?
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 and build an additional area specifically for the youth of our village who suffer from a lack of facilities currently.
Our planning application was successful and planning permission was granted in March 2017. You can see the details at – 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 in July 2017. 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:
OUR MONTHLY EMAIL NEWSLETTERS
As there is so much to keep you informed about we produce a monthly newsletter to keep everyone fully informed. Although the parish magazine also includes monthly updates on the project the newsletter provides a greater level of detail. So if you are interested in progress on the project and aren’t currently on our mailing list for the newsletter please email email@example.com and we will add you.
Each month’s newsletter can be accessed through the links below.
February 2017 – http://eepurl.com/cDOQpT
We have prepared a Business Plan for our community shop and café. This has supported many of our grant applications and has been prepared following research and extensive dialogue with other community shops and cafés.
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.
We have also recently featured in the Petworth Pages.
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
Mick Foote email@example.com 01798 865156
Revd Colin Datchler firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865472
Catherine Guyler email@example.com 07780 686737
Sammi Leese firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865106
Shelagh Morgan email@example.com 01798 865036
Sally Tanner firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865175
Katy Warner email@example.com 01798 865580