MORE than 100 residents have supported plans to open a community run village shop in Brent Knoll.

The closure of Brent Knoll’s village shop prompted around 150 households to respond to a survey to explore plans to open community shop in its place.

The survey found that 146 people supported the idea of a community shop to replace the now closed village shop and Post Office and only one person was opposed the idea.

Forty two villagers agreed to be volunteers, to spend time as unpaid workers to staff a community shop and 93 people also said they would be willing to invest between £50 and £100 to become share-holding investors in a community shop.

Twenty six villagers also said they would be willing to join the project’s steering group, while 12 people offered their skills to help explore the plans further.

David Sturgess, a member of the steering group, said: “This is an amazing response to our online and paper questionnaires.

“Unfortunately, this venture coincides with the national Covid-19 crisis, so we are unable to hold the public meeting that we had planned as the next step. Right now, it is important that we report the results of this public consultation process.

“Those results tell us that there is ample scope to talk to the Plunkett Foundation – the national charity that has helped more than 300 villages to convert their closed village shops into successful community shops.”

But David said the steering group for the Brent Knoll community shop is ‘eager’ to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

“While we progress the results of our survey with the Plunkett Foundation, we’re trying to work with our parish council to ask the 42 people who put themselves forward as volunteers to support the council’s scheme to provide support for people affected by the corona-virus rules in our village,” David said.

“By providing volunteer support for people who have needs in this village, we can provide a bridge between the loss of our village shop and the creation of a community shop.”

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