Community shop opens on former walled garden plot
PUBLISHED: 11:50 10 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:45 10 October 2020
Plumstead Community Shop Limited
A new community store and café has opened in a village four years after the community’s only shop closed.
The Walled Garden Store in Little Plumstead has teamed up with Nisa Retail and Co-op and opened this week.
As well as a shop, it features a café, and has been built on a former Victorian walled garden plot which was left derelict for 10 years and was part of the former Little Plumstead hospital site.
Over the past three years people from the rural community raised almost £250,000 to fund the project after the village shop closed in 2016, leaving local people with no provisions.
Bronwen Barnes, in charge of retail and recruitment on the committee, who is retired head of personnel at Roy’s of Wroxham, said the project was no mean feat.
She said: “I knew from my time at Roy’s that Nisa would be able to give us the support that we needed as a new business in these difficult times and our ambitions to open a café and an instore Post Office.
“I think we are going to be lots of things to lots of people and I think, because the shop is the result of local people coming together for their community, people will be loyal and make use of the facility.”
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The shop will sell chilled and frozen food as well as locally sourced goods.
It is on land bought as part of an agreement between the local authority and a housing developer and was supported by the Plunkett Foundation, which helps rural communities facing tough times when village stores are forced to close.
The organising committee wanted to get the shop and café open as soon as possible after the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the vital role of community stores.
It is being run by a manager and two supervisors, all of whom are paid, as well as an army of volunteers.
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Adrian Nagle, chairman of the chairman of the Plumstead Community Shop Limited not-for-proft community benefits society, said: “Volunteers are the essence of the project. It is incredible that we have been working on this for three years and incredible that it is going ahead.
“The heritage of the walled garden would have been lost forever. We wanted to hold onto it as a community and enable the community to come together.”
Visit www.thewalledgardenshop.co.uk to get involved.
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