Village venture is prospering

Villagers celebrate the opening of Cottingham Village Store and Cafe last year. The venture is now making a profit

Villagers celebrate the opening of Cottingham Village Store and Cafe last year. The venture is now making a profit

0
Have your say

A community-run enterprise which was launched less than a year ago is already making a profit and has a bright future.

The Village Store and Cafe in Cottingham is prospering, thanks to local people who volunteer to serve and help run the not-for-profit business.

Many of the 180 shareholders in the society which was set up to run the shop and café attended its first annual meeting and heard that the business made a profit of £1,108 profit, from £37,118 of sales.

The result was better than the break-even expectations before the shop and café opened in September last year.

Treasurer David Swallow said: “Given all the figures to date, we are getting stronger and can be confident that the shop and café have a long-term, sustainable future.”

For many years the property was empty and boarded up.

Dawn Watkins, the out-going chairman of the committee running the shop and café, said: “It is life-enhancing for everyone involved and has put the heart back into the village.”

She thanked Jeremy and Fiona Sharman and Steve and Jane Gaffney who bought the building and extended and refurbished it, allowing the community venture to be launched.

She also paid tribute to the volunteers who served on the management committee and welcomed the new team, including new chairman David Swallow.

The Village Store and Care opens seven days a week and is run by paid staff backed by a volunteer force of 25 villagers who donate a few hours each week.

Around 180 shareholders invested more than £11,000 in the Industrial and Provident Society set up to run the facility. The project was also backed by grant-giving bodies including North Northamptonshire Leader, Awards for All and the Plunkett Foundation.

The store and café are open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturday and from 9am to 12.30pm on Sundays.