Froxfield Stores to get a fresh new look
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
A village shop in Froxfield is being transformed thanks to a grant of almost £4,000 from a Hampshire County Council initiative aimed at giving essential rural facilities a new lease of life.
The shop owner applied to the Village Shops Grants Scheme for funding to prepare and equip an outside area as a tea room, provide shelving for a free Book Exchange and improve the range of goods stocked. This includes buying a new fridge and ice cream freezer to allow local produce to be offered for sale and improved signage to the shop, which is located in the small hamlet of Dellfield about four miles from Petersfield.
Village shops improved and revitalised
Since its introduction in 2008, the Village Shops Grants scheme has seen village shops across the county improved and revitalised.
Councillor Ray Ellis, Executive Member for Economic Development and Rural Affairs said:
"Making village shops more sustainable and viable in the long term makes good sense as they are often at the heart of their local communities, acting as meeting places and social hubs as well as providing vital goods and services.
"Froxfield Stores is a small convenience shop serving several outlying communities. Small villages such as these rely on having a well stocked shop in their community, particularly for young families and elderly people. The grant of £3,961.30 will help to boost trade and encourage more people to visit the shop by appealing to a wider range of customers. Keeping village shops vibrant and thriving is a high priority when many other rural facilities are being lost".
Shop owner Howard Bevis added:
"This grant from Hampshire County Council has given us a fantastic opportunity to expand our range of local produce and introduce a new facility which we hope will become a much needed meeting place in the parish of Froxfield, for which we are very grateful".
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.