Walberswick store is saved

Fears that Walberswick would lose its village shop have been allayed this week after the East of England Co-Operative Society bought the store.

The Co-op has revealed it has purchased The Tuck Shop in Walberswick, near Southwold, and will re-opening it next week - much to the relief of villagers.

Residents of the picturesque village had feared Walberswick would lose its only store after its current owners Nick and Gill Jones decided to move to pastures new after 15 years of running it.

Because of the concerns that no one would take over the store in Main Street, residents had mooted the idea of clubbing together to try and form their own community consortium group to buy it by offering shares at �500 each.

But now the future is looking rosy for Walsberwick in what Mr Jones described as a 'great result' for the village as the Co-op starts preparations to take the 800 sq ft store over.

Mr Jones, who is originally from Hull, said: 'The Tuck Shop is indispensable to the people who live in the village, especially the older generation, as it is the only store in what is a beautiful but reasonable remote location on the Suffolk seaside.

'We have enjoyed running the store as a family business for the last 15 years and would like to thank all our customers who have supported us.

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'We are delighted to know the store will be in safe hands with the Co-op.'

The six staff who work at the Tuck Shop will be kept on and after some minor refurbishment work it will re-open next Thursday at 10am.

Nick Denny, Co-op executive officer for property, said: 'We are delighted to announce that we are the new owner of the Tuck Shop.

'This is a community store which fits well with the society's profile and we are proud to be able to take over the running of what is obviously a much-loved and essential part of the village.'

The store will be closed between Monday and Wednesday while the refurbishment is being carried out. During the work a shop will be set up in the village hall with essential supplies, such as bread, milk and eggs, between 8.30am and 4pm.

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