AN EMERGENCY shop which was opened in Brent Knoll in response to the coronavirus pandemic will remain open until the end of June.

The decision was made by the Brent Knoll Steering Group, which is working towards a permanent community shop for the village,.

The ‘Emergency Shop’ was created in just 10 days and the volunteers have achieved sales of more than £6,000 for their first month, generating a profit of £700.

The news comes just months after Brent Knoll’s village shop and Post Office closed and a survey launched to get a feel for support in the area for a long-term community shop.

David Sturgess, a member of the community shop steering group, said: “This enterprise has demonstrated how a village community can come together and enjoy the pleasure of a shared venture.”

Since it has been open, the ‘emergency shop’ has been boosted by a number of special ventures, including an Isolation Bake-Off event which raised £200.

In addition, buskers have been performing outside the shop to entertain the queues of socially-distancing customers as they wait.

David said the shop’s community steering group has now submitted its application to become a Commercial Benefit Society, under the auspices of the Plunkett Foundation - a national charity that has backed more than 300 successful rural community shops.

“Becoming a Community Benefit Society will enable us to open our own bank account, take out our own insurance, and take us to the next stages of creating a community shop – with the potential to restore our village Post Office”, Mr Sturgess said.

David said the Brent Knoll shop team will meet again in mid-June to review future plans for the Emergency Shop and will continue to monitor Government advice.

He said a new initiative from the Brent Knoll Emergency Shop will be announced next week which involves one of the world’s leading airlines.