Breckland village to lose its shop and post office

A community near Swaffham will lose its post office and convenience shop in one fell swoop after the Co-Op announced plans to pull out of the village.

The East of England Co-Operative Society has run the Necton store, which employs 15 staff, since 2004 and has blamed a 30pc rent hike for its decision to close both businesses.

This afternoon (Monday) a spokesman said: 'Despite lengthy and transparent negotiations with the society's landlord, the increase in rent upon the renewal of the lease means that it is no longer viable for the society to continue to operate this store, especially in the current financial climate.'

It is not yet known when the Hale Road store, formerly a Spar, will close for good.

The village is already facing the loss of its social club in the new year due to a lack of volunteers and its popular youth club also closed when no-one came forward to run it.

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Only 18 months ago, the village bowls club also shut due to a lack of interest.

Roger Grosvenor, group general manager - trading, said: 'Regrettably due to the increase in rent in excess of 30pc on the property in Necton, we are unable to continue to operate the food store and post office in the village.

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'We are extremely disappointed to be doing this as we are looking to expand rather than contract our food store businesses. The society is currently consulting with the employees at the store and will ensure that our members and customers are informed once a date for the closure is agreed.

'If anyone in the village, or surrounding area, would be interested in running a community shop, the society would be happy to provide help, support and advice to do this.'

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