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frequently asked questions

where will the shop be situated?

The intention is for the community shop to be sited as close to the village centre in Downderry as possible. The steering group is exploring options at pace - as soon as a site has been secured, an announcement will be made.

is the old Downderry stores an option?

The old Downderry Stores is not available for purchase or rent for the purposes of a community shop.

when will the shop be opened?

Typically, community shops take 1-2 years from start to opening, with much of this time required for planning and construction processes. Where existing buildings can be used, and major works not required, community shops can take just a matter of months to get up and running.,

what will the shop sell?

The community survey showed that there's a demand for both daily basics and high-quality items, with many residents requesting local produce and specialist items. The community shop will need to cater for a diverse population so our objective is to strike a balance between the different wants and needs in our community as well as providing for visitors and holidaymakers.

why can't we just get spar or coop to run it?

Both SPAR and Coop run their store networks as franchises. This means an existing shop or other premises going through a selection process to become a franchisee. This is a significant business commitment and currently there is not a business in our community able to take this on.

how do we know a community-run shop will work?

Community-run shops work on a model of a mix of volunteers and paid staff meaning their costs of running are typically lower than commercial shops. They also have the ability to raise money from grant and funding opportunities. It is a sustainable way of running a shop in a small community, because it is not reliant on turning over a profit from sales to survive. There are now almost 400 community shops in the UK, with a 95% success rate which is significantly higher than the average for small businesses.

The local survey showed almost unanimous support among residents for a community shop in Downderry, with indicative spend and usage suggesting there is significant demand for what a community shop could offer.

how will the project be funded?

Most community shop projects are funded through a combination of grant funding, community share offers, donations and grants or loans from local/parish councils. The steering group is currently exploring what the right combination of funding options will be for this project.

how can I make a donation?

The steering group is setting up a Community Benefit Society, with an associated bank account. This means the project can receive donations. In time, a system will be set up to enable this but in the meantime please send your contact details to the steering group at and a member of the group will be in contact.

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