Buy local, shop local
Helping to support Hampshire's local shops
Hampshire County Council runs a range of programmes to support independent retailers across Hampshire ensuring a rich and varied choice of local shops for residents and visitors to the county.
The Shop in Hampshire website has been developed by Hampshire County Council in partnership with Newsquest to encourage shoppers to buy locally at 9,000 independent retailers listed on the site, in 45 towns across the county. The website puts the people of Hampshire directly in touch, from the comfort of their own homes, with their local retailers throughout the county. Users of the website can search by town name or shop category and the shop listings include phone numbers, web links, parking information, events in the town and maps. The site is also free for businesses to sign up to be listed.
Village Community Grant Scheme
Hampshire County Council's Village Community Grant Scheme has helped give 22 village shops throughout the county a new lease of life. Grants have paid for a wide variety of items, including a delivery van; new shelving to accommodate local produce; removal and resiting of Post Office structures; new electronic till systems; coffee makers and delicatessen counters.
Eversley Village Shop - one of the grant aided shops - has now been chosen as Hampshire Village Shop of the Year 2010-2011 in the Hampshire County Magazine Awards, on the basis of the comprehensive range of products and services provided to its local community.
Local residents John Hartle and Gillian Lewis wanted to refurbish and transform a tired shop and post office into a modern and revitalised resource for Eversley's 1,500 inhabitants and passing trade, whilst still retaining the traditional village shop atmosphere. To help achieve their goal, and with the support of their Parish Council, they applied for a maximum grant of £20,000 from the Hampshire County Council/SEEDA Village Community Grant Scheme, a process which John found 'easy and straightforward'.
Today, with a new electronic till system, the shop stocks freshly baked bread and ham, local cakes and produce, sweets, hot pasties and quality coffee as well as meat, greeting cards and store cupboard essentials. It acts as a dry cleaning and shoe repair drop-off and hub for village flyers and contact cards, also providing key cutting services and some deliveries. John has even developed a range of real ales to rival the supermarkets!
In the words of one of the villagers:.'it's a dramatic change - everything a village shop should be and more'.
Grants are still available to both community shops and privately owned businesses for the foreseeable future and do not require match funding. Find more information about the grants online or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01962 846558
Fresh and seasonal produce, goods made locally, supporting independent retailers, preserving the economic vitality of towns and villages, greater convenience and a more personal shopping experience are just some of the many reasons to support Hampshire's local shops.