Shop bought by Daventry villagers all set for grand opening

Villagers cut the sod back in March 2018
Villagers cut the sod back in March 2018

Villagers who bought shares to help set up a new shop are looking forward to its doors opening for business later this month.

Creaton Village Shop will open on Friday, August 24, with Post Office services available a week later on Friday, August 31.

An artist impression of the new shop

An artist impression of the new shop

It is a project that has been nearly two years in the making, after the owners of the previous village shop decided to try to sell their business.

After it failed to attract a buyer, villagers were faced with the prospect of not having a store in Creaton and set up a 'Save Our Shop' campaign.

The first thing the group did was survey the village to establish if there was a need to retain the shop. Creaton has a population of around 500 but the previous shop also served Cottesbrooke and parts of neighbouring villages, Hollowell and Teeton.

Next the group looked at funding and decided to raise some of the money through shares, which raised £80,000.

The group, which became Creaton Community Benefit Society, also received funding from the National Lottery, Northamptonshire County Council and LEADER, an EU rural grant scheme.

The project, which totalled around £150,000, included renting a piece of land from two brothers in the village and building and stocking a brand new shop.

Now excitement is growing ahead of the shop's opening this month and along with three part-time employees, 35 volunteers have offered around 90 hours of help a week.

Richard Hollingum, Vice Chair of Creaton Community Benefit Society, said: "One of the things that has really touched us is how the community has taken this to their heart and are owning it.

"People are always asking about the progress of the shop and people who don't normally get together have done so over this. It's definitely forged friendships.

"It's brought people together of all ages - our oldest volunteer is 80 and our youngest is 14.

"We're also talking to local schools to see if they'd like pupils to get involved in volunteering with us for their Duke of Edinburgh award."

The shop, which is on the main Welford Road through the village, will sell groceries, take-out coffees, newspapers and where possible, local produce. Its opening times from August 31 will be 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to midday on Saturdays and Sundays.

There will be a grand opening from 12.30pm on Saturday, September 8, with a chance to sample some of the produce that will be on sale and in the village hall, an exhibition about the project will be on display.

Shareholders will have a say in how the shop is ran and the not-for-profit group will invest back into the shop or other community projects.

The shop is always looking for more volunteers and shares are still available to buy.