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It's NOW or NEVER for Our Community Shop and Post Office

Play YOUR Part
by investing in


Our Community Share Offer

Target £200,000
Launches 20th Jan 2023


We aim to buy the former Baptist chapel as community owned premises for our community run shop and Post Office.

By buying shares YOU become the owners of East Boldre’s community shop, and have a say in how it is run and control over its future.

Minimum purchase is one share (£15), maximum is 1000 shares (£15,000).
All members have an equal say in key business decisions regardless of their shareholding
Please be a generous as you can to give us the best chance of meeting our target.

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The share offer is a key part of our fundraising too and will demonstrate that the project has community backing.
This community ownership model fosters customer loyalty and involves everyone in the community in its running
.

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SHARE OFFER TOTAL

£53,685
In 12 days
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Come along to one of the

 Drop In Sessions 

to TALK TO US face to face about investing in our share offer.

East Boldre Village Hall

Saturday 11th Feb – 11 – 1pm

Thank You!

A community shop is all about the

local people it serves. Your feedback helps to shape our plans and your support bolsters our motivation.

We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to complete our survey and support our planning application.

The decision on our planning application was due on 18th January 2023.

We are working to understand when a decision will be made.

Be the first to know

Our recent survey indicated that the majority of local people would like to receive news about our project via direct email.

 

If you would like to receive updates about our plans and progress by email please subscribe here.

A New Opportunity

With all of the other feasible options for our community shop exhausted, when the Baptist chapel came onto the market in August 2022 it offered a one-off opportunity that we had to seize. It actually offers the best solution of all the options considered over the last 5 years.

  • This locally listed building gets a new community purpose.

  • It offers spacious premises, very similar in size to the highly successful Woodgreen community shop.

  • It is centrally located, provides scope for off - road parking and the 'Vestry'offers a flexible community space for shop events, workshops (IT, bike repairs) etc.

The Baptist Union Corporation have indicated that our offer is at an acceptable level. It is now up to us to get the funds in place so we are in a proceedable position. There is a risk that it may be sold to someone else before we complete our fundraising.

The 'Chapel Stores' Project

 

The chapel, built in 1844, sits on a 1/4 acre site along with a modern 1990’s hall. There are 400 unmarked graves onsite that our plans leave undisturbed.

Since August, we have worked to establish the feasibility of our plans. We'll repair and renovate the chapel, fixing the rising damp, treating woodworm and removing asbestos from the premises.

 

The main chapel space will be fitted out and equipped as the retail area with the old vestry providing a social space for shop events, workshops and 'home working' . We'll also use this space for a permanent exhibition of the chapel's history and residents' memories of it in its former role.

The leaking kitchen roof will be repaired and it will be fitted out as a food preparation area. The hall will be demolished to make way for a car park that would provide off road parking and turning space. Native trees and hedging will improve the street scene and improve the site's biodivesity. A solar system will halve our electricty costs and rainwater will be collected for toilet flushing.

We have produced a detailed project plan that sets out the activities, costs, funding sources and timescales to achieve this.

We have gathered the team back together and are delighted Alison and David have joined our management committee. Becki has volunteered to help with social media, Sophia with the heritage project and Richard and Lynn are progressing the EPOS system selection. Last but by no means least the great team of 35 Lane Reps are helping to keep the community informed and act as a sounding board for our ideas. 

Once Trading

 

While we are a not-for-profit organisation we need to ensure we are financially viable. If we grow the business we can keep our margins and, therefore, prices lower.

We will provide employment for 2 staff to cover the planned opening hours. They will be supported by a team of volunteers to share the workload and add to the friendly feel of the shop.

By keeping a shop and Post Office in the village, we reduce car journeys across the forest for convenience items, banking and postal services. The larger space will allow us to offer a broader range of goods and services with wide, accessible aisles.

Why It Matters

Our village shop and Post Office provides vital postal services, banking, bill payment, key top-ups as well as groceries. While a convenience for many it is particularly important for the 10% of households with no car given the village's very limited bus service.

 

During the early days of the pandemic it was the only village amenity that stayed open. As well as innovatively finding ways to keep the shelves stocked, it acted as a rallying point for the community and a hub for volunteers.

Over the years our village school, its two other shops, doctors surgery, youth clubs, a football club and a lunch club have closed leaving the shop as an important focal point in our community. 

 

Now the last shop and its Post Office is under threat of closure as the owner wants to retire from the long hours running the business entails.

 

Over the last 5 years and we have invested a huge amount of time and energy in pursuing various local options for a site for our shop. This has not been an easy task as our village borders restricted Crown grazing land and local house prices are high.

The chapel presents a last and one-off opportunity for our community shop premises.

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