MALVERN’S MP Harriett Baldwin has pledged her support to a group of Lower Broadheath residents who are trying to restore a village shop and post office.
Mrs Baldwin has been in regular contact with the group for several months after it announced plans to investigate a resumption of the village store in the summer.
The previous shop closed down in May but the MP intervened to ensure that postal services were maintained at The Bell Inn on the Martley Road.
However, this only operates for two hours a week.
Now the group of residents are hoping to restore the shop by taking over the portacabin which used to be used by the highly-successful Alfrick village store.
And Mrs Baldwin has written to Post Office chiefs asking them to assist the Lower Broadheath group as they explore their option to restore essential services.
“I was an active supporter of Alfrick villagers as local people volunteered to run their shop and Post Office and I was delighted to hear that this venture had been so successful that they are now able to move into a permanent site,” said the MP.
“I hope that Broadheath is able to replicate this success and I have offered the group my help and support as they explore all the options.”
The Lower Broadheath Community Shop, as it would be called, would be located at a site near The Bell Inn and is expected to open in Spring 2018.
By working with The Plunkett Foundation – the group which helps rural communities to take control of the issues affecting them through community ownership – the village’s community shop committee had been able to put together a business plan for the project which is expected to cost between £65,000 and £70,000.
Mark Glossop, chairman of the community shop committee, said: “Almost half of the households in the village responded to our survey with more than 90 per cent of those regarding the efforts to launch a new village shop as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’.
“This is particularly true for the older members of the community and for those who do not have access to their own transport.”
A planning application for the shop is currently being finalised and a share offer document will be made available to any interested parties at the start of next year.
The committee is also looking for volunteers and volunteer leaders to help with promotion, organising fund-raising events and for the day-to-day running of the shop.
Visit www.lowerbroadheathshop.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to donate and get involved.