Upton Grey Stores on the up
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
A village shop in Upton Grey is set to be transformed thanks to a grant of £10,533.34 from a Hampshire County Council initiative aimed at giving essential rural facilities a new lease of life.
The owner of Upton Grey Village Stores applied to the Village Shops Grants Scheme for funding to buy extra chillers and a freezer to increase the range of goods stocked, particularly fresh vegetables, meat and frozen foods. New shelving will also allow a wider variety of local produce to be displayed.
Village shops revitalised
Since its introduction in 2008, the scheme has seen village shops across the county improved and revitalised.
Councillor Ray Ellis, Executive Member for Economic Development and Rural Affairs said:
"Upton Grey is a small community of around 500 residents so having a well stocked and friendly shop is very important, particularly for young families and elderly people. More young families are now moving into the village and using the shop, so it is important to ensure it remains viable in the long term, including continuing to act as a meeting place and social hub.
"Village shops are usually at the heart of their local communities. By keeping them vibrant and thriving we can help to ensure their survival when many other rural facilities are being lost"
Owner Jeyaratnam Sukarnan added:
"I would like to say a huge thank to Hampshire County Council as this will be very beneficial to all our customers in the village."
The Village Community Grants scheme offers funding of up to £20,000 to help increase the use of village shops or to create new community-led village stores, particularly in communities which are losing their post offices. The scheme is targeted primarily at villages with fewer than 5,000 residents and has been very successful, with the £350,000 given so far in grants being matched by over twice as much from private sources.