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South Dorset Village Hold Out Hope for New Community Store


8:54am 16th November 2012

Villagers in Broadwindsor are hoping to open a community store in an old telephone exchange.

The original shop in the square shut at the end of August last year after trading for 100 years.

They had hoped to open a new store in the same place - but won't be able to get the lease until next year, which would put their grant of £29,000 thousand pounds at risk.

The local community has also raised £33,000 towards the scheme and have become shareholders.

Broadwindsor and District Community Enterprise chairman Fraser Hughes told more than 100 shareholders at a meeting in the Comrades Hall that the current owners of the shop in the square were not in a position to look at a lease until at least February 2013.

"The committee's view was that in these circumstances it would not be possible to open a shop on this site until at least June 2013," he said.

"We have been fortunate enough to find another site at the old telephone exchange in Drimpton Road, which until recently housed a small print business," he said.

"Negotiations have been conducted with the owners of the building and we are close to signing a five-year lease, with break clauses after one year. However, the building will need change of use approval and we have applied to West Dorset District Council for this, with a decision expected in early December."

If successful, the bulk of the grant would be secure.

Mr Hughes said: "The shop in the square remains the ultimate goal and once the current owners have resolved their situation, we can re-open negotiations."

Shareholders unanimously backed the plan of the committee, whose members were thanked for the amount of work they have put in so far. Mr Hughes said.

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