Shops and pubs

We recently held a Shops, Pubs and Community Hubs workshop where we had speakers from the Plunkett Foundation, LEADER and two community shop villages - Sulgrave Village shop, which is the oldest community shop in the county and Creaton Community Benefit Society, that is developing a new Creaton village shop.

Tasha Bevan from the Plunkett Foundation set out the reasons why it is worth becoming a community cooperative, how to set one up and the best operating strucutre to use. She also went through the fantastic support that Plunkett can offer to a group looking to set up a community enterprise. Her slides are available to download here.

Will Dallimore from the LEADER programme gave an overview of the current EU LEADER programme that provides funding for rural businesses and had great news for one of our speakers - the final application for LEADER funding that Creaton Village shop had put in had been approaved just that morning! Excellent news and congratulations to Creaton Community Benefit Society. Will's slides can be downloaded here.


Use it or Lose it!

Have you noticed how the Village Shop and the Pub seem to be the centre of village life?

They help to give an essential focus that is particularly valuable to the more vulnerable members of the community.  Imagine the detrimental effect when they close – community activity and spirit inevitably suffer.

Many shop keepers and publicans enjoy their work and are dedicated to serving their community.  However, many struggle with the many challenges running such businesses – challenges such as isolation, powerful competition, long hours, lack of experience, finance and support.  These problems have led to a decline in services in rural areas.


How Northamptonshire ACRE helps

Northamptonshire ACRE champions our village shops and pubs -

  • We lobby and advise District and County Councils about Rural Retailing.
  • We provide advice and information to village shops.
  • We signpost enquiries from retailers to the relevant organisation.
  • We give advice and support to shops applying for grants.

Do you want help to set up a community shop or pub? Contact Rebecca Breakwell on 01604 825884 or email Rebecca.breakwell@northantsacre.org.uk. Our Rural Officer will be in touch to give you independent advice.


Useful Links

The Plunkett Foundation offers support, advice and resources on setting up a community shop or pub.

Pub is the Hub is a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation dedicated to improving community services and activities.  They offer advice and support to communities who are looking to relocate, re-open or introduce vital services and activities in their local pub, as well as to communities considering the options for acquiring their local pub and the range of responsibilities involved.

North & West Northants LEADER programme supports the provision of rural services - particularly where those services have a quantifiable positive impact on the rural economy through the creation of jobs and growth, for example: village shops with additional services (e.g. Post Office), supporting 'pub is the hub' projects, and supporting village-based child crèches.