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THE campaign to save Whitley’s village shop has made “exciting progress” with a helping hand from a new business moving to the village.
Barbastelle Bikes, the new owners of the building that formerly housed the village shop and Post Office on Top Lane in Whitley, have offered the Shaw and Whitley Community Hub space within their premises to run their community village shop, called Whitley Stores.
The community group has now launched a fundraising campaign, selling ‘community shares’ in the ‘community benefit society’ – and if successful, they hope to open Whitley Stores over the summer.
“Whitley Stores will occupy one side of the building,” explained Alison Candlin from the group, “sharing space with Spindles Bikes, who will run a coffee shop, and Barbastelle Bikes – a bespoke bicycle building business.
“Whitley Stores will be owned, run and staffed by Shaw and Whitley Community Hub, a community benefit society that will be financed and operated through the sale of community shares, so that the shop is both owned and run by the community for the community.
“Our share offer is now open and information packs are being distributed to all households in Shaw and Whitley and the closest surrounding areas, inviting local residents to invest in this new community enterprise.
“The deadline for investments is 30th June, and if we reach our target with sufficient investment to progress, we’re hoping that we will be able to open over the summer.”
Shaw and Whitley Community Hub launched their campaign last year in June following the news the post-lockdown news that The Toast Office, Top Lane, would not be reopening.
To find out more about the ‘community shares’ offer – which is open to anyone, and not exclusive to villagers – visit the Shaw and Whitley Community Hub website: whitleycommunityhub.com