A SOMERSET village community shop, which opened within 10 days of the first Covid-19 lockdown last year, has gone from strength to strengths since then.

Having traded profitably from day one, Brent Knoll’s volunteer-run shop has now appointed its first paid employee and secured a licence to sell alcohol.

Having advertised the post of part-time manager in local news media and social media, the group has appointed Jamie Scanlon as volunteer co-ordinator.

He will ensure the shop’s compliance with all regulations and oversee the training and allocation of volunteers.

This will include training the shop’s volunteers on the rules for selling alcohol, now that the Brent Knoll Community Shop has been awarded a license by Sedgemoor District Council.

Customers will be asked to say what alcoholic products they want the shop to stock.

Meanwhile, the owner of the shop premises has sold both her home and the shop, but the new owner has confirmed that the Community Shop can continue to operate there for the coming year, while it works with Brent Knoll Parish Council to finalise a permanent future location in the village.

“We are delighted with the progress that we have made since opening our ‘Emergency Shop’ at the outset of the first lockdown”, said Dr Niall Moore, chairman of the Brent Knoll Community Shop Steering Group.

“We are also hugely grateful to the shop-owner for all the support she has provided over the past year, and for the new owner’s willingness for us to remain there while we resolve our future location with our parish council."