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  • katherinekowalski

Community shop project February 2024 newsletter

Welcome to the third edition of the newsletter from the Downderry community shop project steering group. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, we hope you find this newsletter useful, please do share it with friends and family who live locally.


Community Benefit Society news

Over the last few months, the community shop steering group has been working with The Plunkett Foundation, to set up a Community Benefit Society.


We can now announce that we are formally registered as a Community Benefit Society and have been granted Financial Conduct Authority approval.


This is a hugely positive start to the new year as it is an essential step in enabling applications for grants, fundraising and community share issues to take place.


Fundraising and grant applications

Community Ownership Fund


The steering group has researched grant funding opportunities that may be open to us and is currently working on an Expression of Interest for the Community Ownership Fund.


This fund can be used by communities to take ownership of physical assets in the community that are at risk, for renovating an asset, setting up or buying a community business, buying stock, moving a community asset to a new location, or developing new assets where these relate to saving or relocating a past or existing asset.


The fund will contribute up to 80% of the total capital required, with the remaining 20% to be raised from other sources.


Community shares


In last summer's community survey, many local residents expressed an interest in taking on share ownership for a new community shop.


Now that a Community Benefit Society has been set up, the steering group will be working on an initial share offer for the community as part of our fundraising.


More information will follow in due course about how this will work. In the meantime, if you are interested to find out how community shares typically work, this explainer video is worth a watch:


Got retail management experience? Want to help?

The steering group is looking for a member of the community to join us, either as a full member of the steering group, or on an advisory basis. If you have retail management experience and would like to be involved, please get in touch at 



Thanks again to everybody who has shared their interest in volunteering in a Community Shop. The steering group will be in touch with you in the weeks to come.


Thank you to Downderry & Seaton Residents' Association for agreeing to fund the start up costs for the Community Shop project. This has enabled us to very quickly set up a website and community channels, and to join the Plunkett Foundation which offers crucial support to projects like ours.


Please keep sharing your ideas and views via the Community Shop project Facebook group, or by emailing the steering group on

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