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Jubilation as shop wins £250k funding
2:00pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
AFTER seven years in the making, plans for a new shop and café in Blockley are finally getting off the ground thanks to a £500,000 funding boost.
There were jubilant scenes in the village after Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Programme awarded the Blockley Co-operative Association (BCA) the full amount after a two-anda- half year application process.
Now the vital funds have been secured, a building contractor will be appointed and work on a new village hub is set to get under way at the end of September.
As previously reported, the new building – which will be built next to the current one – currently occupied by 1960s public toilets, will include a shop, post office, café and disabled toilet.
Designs for the new shop have been drawn up by Randell Burton Architects, in Chipping Norton, following a successful £118,000 appeal in the village last spring.
BCA accountant Ollie Lincoln said: “Without the local fund-raising we wouldn’t have been able to continue with the lottery,” he said.
“Because we have raised a significant amount locally it’s enabled us to pay for the advisers.
“The aim is to build a more cohesive society and reduce isolation by a variety of services.
“It’s fantastic for Blockley.
It really guarantees this village keeps its heartbeat.”
Not only will the shop sell produce, it will also hold digital sessions for people having difficulties with their computer or camera, workshops, cooking classes, a prescription drop-off point and can be used by district nurses for health education.
As the lease on the current shop has now been extended until next July, it is hoped the project will be finished towards the end of next year.
Manager Chris Grimes said: “We’re looking forward to the next stage.
“We’re going to be in partnership with Nisa Local so we will be able to offer convenience store produce at better prices but still maintaining and improving our local suppliers.”
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