The Journey so Far
A lot of progress has already been made towards the development of the new village shop and Post Office. Some of the key milestones so far:
April 2019: Public Meeting, Memorial Hall
A public meeting at which the need to create evidence of the need and feasibility of a village shop and post office was agreed.
May-August 2019: Community Survey
A Voluntary Working Group designed a questionnaire to get feedback from the local community. A questionnaire was distributed on and offline, with subsequent analysis published in the Mercury.
September 2019: Public Meeting, Memorial Hall
A public meeting at which there was strong support for the development of a new village shop and post office, and encouragement to move to the next stages.
October 2019: Steering Group Formation
A steering group was constituted with distributed responsibilities.
November-December 2019: Initial Planning
Initial discussion and planning for the location and layout of the shop, and figures for the business plan.
A meeting with the local councillor and staff member for funding and enterprise was arranged, along with 2 working days with a community advisor from the Plunkett Foundation.
A Mission Statement and statement of beneficiary impact of the village shop and post office were agreed.
January-February 2020: Business Plan
A first version of the business plan was approved, with a subsequent meeting with Herefordshire Council.
February 2020: Community Shop Site Visits
Research visits to 3 Community Shops: Crowle, Peopleton and Bretforton.
March-May 2020: Formalisation of Legal Structure
Legal structure finalised, and membership of the Plunkett Foundation. An update to Much Marcle Parish Council and the audience at Film Night.
Consultation via email on the details of the Model Rules of Association.
Posted letter with Model Rules of Association and application for Community Benefit Society status to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Registration as ‘Much Marcle Community Shop Limited’ under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 at the FCA.
June-July 2020: Further Planning
Discussions for the design and layout of the village shop, and planning processes.
September 2020: Bank Account
Much Marcle Community Shop and Post Office bank account opened with the Co-operative bank.
October 2020: Location & Lease Arrangements
Possible locations discussed with Steering Group, Chair of the Parish Council and Managers of the Walwyn Arms.
November-December 2020: Discussions with Donors
Funding discussions with potential donors.
April 2021: Mobile Post Office
Mobile Post Office established at the Memorial Hall, thereafter on a weekly basis.
June 2021: Hellens Produce Market
Presence at Hellens Produce Market established for information sharing and fundraising.
October 2021: Pre-Planning
Pre-planning advice application - submission of confidential application for pre-planning advice from Herefordshire Council.
January-March 2022: Further Planning
Meeting with Royal Oak Manager about a shop at the pub.
Consideration of shop design. Target of share offer defined.
March 2022: Pre-Planning Advice
Receipt of pre-planning advice from Herefordshire Council.
March 2022: Architect Planning
Meeting with local architect. Request for quote for full architectural service from two architects.
May 2022: Logo & Website
Logo design & website launch.
May 2022: The Share Offer
The launch of the Share Offer at the Memorial Hall on Thursday 26th May (read more here).
The Road Ahead
Some of the next steps towards the opening of the shop include:
- Fundraising to meet the optimum target of £150,000
- The planning process for the location and building
- The drawing up of a lease agreement
- Regular updates to the business plan
With the support of the village community, Much Marcle Parish Council, Herefordshire Council and the Plunkett Foundation already achieved we are confident that we can meet our aims and objectives.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch here if you would like to know more or want to get actively involved in the project.